Effect of seizure timing on long-term survival in patients with brain tumor

Document Type


Publication Date


Publication Title

Epilepsy & behavior


OBJECTIVE: Seizures often occur in patients with primary brain tumor (BT). The aim of this study was to determine if there is an association between the time of occurrence of seizures during the course of BT and survival of these patients.

METHODS: This retrospective cohort study at Henry Ford Hospital, an urban tertiary referral center, included all patients who were diagnosed with primary BTs at Henry Ford Health System between January 2006 and December 2014. Timing of seizure occurrence, if occurred at presentation or after the tumor diagnosis during follow-up period, in different grades of BTs, and survival of these patients were analyzed.

RESULTS: Of the 901 identified patients, 662 (53% male; mean age: 56 years) were included in final analysis, and seizures occurred in 283 patients (43%). Patients with World Health Organization (WHO) grade III BT with seizures as a presenting symptom only had better survival (adjusted hazard ratio (HR): 0.27; 95% confidence interval (CI), 0.11-0.67; P = 0.004). Seizures that occurred after tumor diagnosis only (adjusted HR: 2.11; 95% CI, 1.59-2.81; P < 0.001) in patients with WHO grade II tumors (adjusted HR: 3.41; 95% CI, 1.05-11.1; P = 0.041) and WHO grade IV tumors (adjusted HR: 2.14; 95% CI, 1.58-2.90; P < 0.001) had higher mortality. Seizures that occurred at presentation and after diagnosis also had higher mortality (adjusted HR: 1.34; 95% CI, 1.00-1.80; P = 0.049), in patients with meningioma (adjusted HR: 6.19; 95% CI, 1.30-29.4; P = 0.021) and grade III tumors (adjusted HR: 6.19; 95% CI, 2.56-15.0; P < 0.001).

CONCLUSION: Seizures occurred in almost half of the patients with BTs. The association between seizures in patients with BT and their survival depends on the time of occurrence of seizures, if occurring at presentation or after tumor diagnosis, and the type of tumor. Better survival was noted in patients with WHO grade III BTs who had seizures at presentation at the time of diagnosis, while higher mortality was noted in WHO grade II tumors who had seizure at presentation and after tumor diagnosis, and in grade IV tumors after tumor diagnosis.

PubMed ID




First Page


Last Page