Solitary epileptic seizures in the clinical practice. Part I: etiological factors responsible for their occurrence.

BACKGROUND: Approximately 5% of the general population experiences at least one unprovoked epileptic seizure in the lifetime. This is in contrast to the cumulative incidence of epilepsy (approx. 3-4%) and incidence of acute symptomatic seizures (approx. 4%). Nearly 2% of the population experiences a febrile seizure before the 5 years of age. The aim of this article was evaluation of the distribution of acute symptomatic and unprovoked seizures in our patient cohort after the solitary epileptic seizures, as well as determination of particular etiological factors responsible for the occurrence of solitary epileptic seizure.

MATERIAL AND METHODS: Our patient cohort comprised 116 patients experiencing the solitary epileptic seizure, who were hospitalised at the 1st Department of Neurology, Faculty of Medicine of Comenius University and Faculty Hospital in Bratislava, Slovakia over a period of 10 years (January 1, 1997 - January 1, 2007). It is a retrospective analysis of data from case records and health records; eventually we contacted the patients by phone or by sending a questionnaire.

RESULTS: Of the 116 patients there were 32 cases (37.12%) of an acute symptomatic seizure and 84 cases (62.88%) of an unprovoked seizure. In the group of unprovoked solitary epileptic seizures the etiological conclusions were idiopathic and cryptogenic in 35 cases (41.7%) and late symptomatic in 49 cases (58.3%). The most frequent etiological factor in the group of acute symptomatic seizures was alcohol (40.6%). In the subgroup of late symptomatic seizures the etiology was mostly vascular (17.85%).

CONCLUSION: Data management of etiological factors responsible for the solitary epileptic seizure confirmed a need for a thorough evaluation of the first epileptic seizure.

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