Background — Despite its effectiveness, surgery for drug-resistant epilepsy is underutilized. However, whether epilepsy surgery is also underutilized among patients with stroke-related drug-resistant epilepsy is unclear. Therefore, our objectives were to estimate the rates of epilepsy surgery assessment and receipt among patients with stroke-related drug-resistant epilepsy and to identify factors associated with these outcomes.
Methods — We used linked health administrative databases to conduct a population-based retrospective cohort study of adult Ontario, Canada residents discharged from an Ontario acute care institution following the treatment of a stroke between January 1, 1997, and December 31, 2020, without prior evidence of seizures. We excluded patients who did not subsequently develop drug-resistant epilepsy and those with other epilepsy risk factors. We estimated the rates of epilepsy surgery assessment and receipt by March 31, 2021. We planned to use Fine-Gray subdistribution hazard models to identify covariates independently associated with our outcomes, controlling for the competing risk of death.
Results — We identified 265,081 patients who survived until discharge following inpatient stroke treatment, 1,902 (0.7%) of whom subsequently developed drug-resistant epilepsy (805 women; mean age: 67.0 ± 13.1 years). Fewer than six (≤0.3%) of these patients were assessed for or received epilepsy surgery before the end of follow-up (≤55.5 per 100,000 person-years). Given that few outcomes were identified, we could not proceed with the multivariable analyses.
Conclusions — Patients with stroke-related drug-resistant epilepsy are infrequently considered for epilepsy surgery that could reduce morbidity and mortality.
View full text