Seizures Common In Survivors of Pediatric Brain Tumors
Many children who survive brain tumors have seizures, according to a new study
Of the 24% of pediatric brain tumor survivors who had seizures, 14% of them had refractory seizures or were still on medications at the most recent follow-up, the authors report.
Tumor pathology, cortical location and subtotal resection predisposed patients to seizures, and residual tumor presence and longer duration from diagnosis predicted poor seizure control, they report in Epilepsia, online August 31.
"These findings may impact how we follow long-term survivors of childhood brain tumors and the level of vigilance that providers must have to the possibility of neurologic late effects long after completion of treatment," said lead author Dr. Nicole J. Ullrich from Dana-Farber/Boston Children's Cancer and Blood Disorders Center in Boston.
"This information will allow clinicians to better understand which patients need to remain on anti-seizure medications and which may be able to come off sooner," she told Reuters Health by email.
Dr. Kevin F. Ginn, director of the Pediatric Brain Tumor Program at Children's Mercy Hospital Cancer Center in Kansas City, Missouri, said in an email, "Although this study adds to the identified risks of seizure in survivors of pediatric brain tumors, it remains a challenge to determine which patients need anti-epileptic medications and when it is truly appropriate to stop them."
"The authors pointed out that, due to the nature of their study, patients who stopped anti-epileptic medications during the study could not be followed for seizure recurrence," Dr. Ginn, who was not involved in the study, told Reuters Health. "This is an important point, as we need better predictors of which patients can safely stop medications."
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