Seizure course during pregnancy in catamenial epilepsy

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Abstract

Objective:

Our aim was to evaluate seizure course in catamenial epilepsy (CE) and noncatamenial epilepsy (NCE) during pregnancy.

Methods:

We prospectively followed women referred to our Epilepsy Center for pregnancy planning to the end of the pregnancy. According to their seizure frequency variations across the menstrual cycle, all patients were divided into either the CE or the NCE group. Data on seizure frequency during pregnancy were collected for each patient and compared with seizure frequency during the pregestational 9 months.

Results:

Fifty-nine women with CE and 215 with NCE were included. Forty-seven subjects (79.7%) with CE and 48 subjects (22.3%) with NCE remained seizure-free throughout pregnancy (odds ratio [OR] = 2.612, 95% confidence interval [CI] 1.901–3.323, p < 0.001), whereas 30 (50.8%) in the CE group and 18 (8.4%) in the NCE group had reduced seizure frequency during pregnancy (OR = 2.427, 95% CI 1.724–3.129, p < 0.001). Decreases in seizures ≥50% occurred in 26 women (44.1%) with CE and 14 women (6.5%) with NCE (OR = 2.426, 95% CI 1.679–3.173, p < 0.001). Multiple logistic regression models confirmed the significant role of catamenial pattern as predictor for better outcomes.

Conclusions:

Better seizure control during pregnancy in the catamenial group may be attributable to the absence of cyclical hormone variations and the increase in circulating progesterone levels. These data may have practical implications for therapeutic management of patients with CE during pregnancy.

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