BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE: We performed a systematic review and meta-analysis to assess the incidence and risk of seizures following acute stroke reperfusion therapy (intravenous thrombolysis [IVT] with r-tPA [recombinant tissue-type plasminogen activator], mechanical thrombectomy or both).
METHODS: We searched major databases (MEDLINE, SCOPUS, and Cochrane Library) for articles published between 1995 and October 28, 2019. The primary outcome was the overall and treatment specific pooled incidence of poststroke seizures (PSS) following acute reperfusion therapy. We also computed the pooled incidence of early poststroke seizures and late poststroke seizures separately for all studies. We derived the risk of PSS associated with IVT in the pooled cohort of patients who received only IVT. The small number of studies (<3) that reported on the risk of PSS associated with mechanical thrombectomy alone or in combination with IVT did not allow us to compute an estimate of the risk of seizures associated with this therapy.
RESULTS: We identified 13 753 patients with stroke, of which 592 had seizures. The pooled incidence of PSS was 5.9 % (95% CI, 4.2%-8.2%). PSS incidence rates among patients with stroke treated with IVT, mechanical thrombectomy, and both were respectively 6.1% (95% CI, 3.6%-10.2%), 5.9% (95% CI, 4.1%-8.4%), and 5.8 % (95% CI, 3.0%-10.9%). The incidence of late PSS was 6.7% (95% CI, 4.01%-11.02%) and that of early PSS was 3.14% (95% CI, 2.05%-4.76%). The pooled odds ratio for the association between IVT and PSS was 1.24 (95% CI, 0.75-2.05).
CONCLUSIONS: The findings of this meta-analysis suggest that about one in 15 ischemic stroke patients treated with IVT, mechanical thrombectomy, or both develop seizures independently of the specific reperfusion treatment that they received.