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J R Soc Med. 1991 April; 84(4): 221–223.
PMCID: PMC1293187

Epilepsy after craniotomy and the place of prophylactic anticonvulsant drugs: discussion paper.


A retrospective study of 1000 patients who had undergone supratentorial neurosurgery and with prolonged follow-up revealed an overall postoperative incidence of epilepsy of 17%. The incidence varied with different pathologies but anticonvulsants given prophylactically in a randomized trial did not significantly alter the incidence. Routine anticonvulsant prophylaxis cannot be recommended.

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Selected References

These references are in PubMed. This may not be the complete list of references from this article.
  • Cabral RJ, King TT, Scott DF. Epilepsy after two different neurosurgical approaches to the treatment of ruptured intracranial aneurysm. J Neurol Neurosurg Psychiatry. 1976 Nov;39(11):1052–1056. [PMC free article] [PubMed]
  • Foy PM, Copeland GP, Shaw MD. The incidence of postoperative seizures. Acta Neurochir (Wien) 1981;55(3-4):253–264. [PubMed]
  • Foy PM, Copeland GP, Shaw MD. The natural history of postoperative seizures. Acta Neurochir (Wien) 1981;57(1-2):15–22. [PubMed]
  • Shaw MD, Foy P, Chadwick D. The effectiveness of prophylactic anticonvulsants following neurosurgery. Acta Neurochir (Wien) 1983;69(3-4):253–258. [PubMed]
  • North JB. Anticonvulsant prophylaxis in neurosurgery. Br J Neurosurg. 1989;3(4):425–427. [PubMed]
  • Deutschman CS, Haines SJ. Anticonvulsant prophylaxis in neurological surgery. Neurosurgery. 1985 Sep;17(3):510–517. [PubMed]
  • North JB, Penhall RK, Hanieh A, Frewin DB, Taylor WB. Phenytoin and postoperative epilepsy. A double-blind study. J Neurosurg. 1983 May;58(5):672–677. [PubMed]

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