Hussaini H, Rogers S, Kataria S, Uddin K, Mohamed KH, Mohamed AS, Tariq F, Ahmad S, Awais A, Ahmed Z, Chukwurah A, and Khan A. COVID-19-Induced Seizures: A Meta-Analysis of Case Series and Retrospective Cohorts. Cureus 2022; 14(8):e28633.
The adverse events and complications of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) continue to challenge the medical profession despite the worldwide vaccination against the severe acute respiratory coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), the causative agent of COVID-19. Other than typical respiratory manifestations, COVID-19 also presents a wide range of neurological manifestations. This article underlines the pooled incidence of COVID-19-induced seizures in patients with epilepsy and without epilepsy. Following Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses (PRISMA) protocols, we conducted a bibliographical search, and an initial search revealed 1,375 articles. In total, 21 articles were included in the final analysis by following the inclusion criteria. A total of 11,526 patients from 21 published articles that met the predetermined search criteria were included. The median age of the patients was 61.9 years, of whom 51.5% were males. A total of 255 patients presented with seizures as the first manifestation of COVID-19 with a prevalence of 2.2% (95% confidence interval = 0.05-0.24, p < 0.01) (I2 = 97%), of which 71 patients had previously been diagnosed with epilepsy. Among patients with epilepsy, 49 patients had seizures as an initial presentation of SARA-CoV-2 with an incidence of 72% (0.54-0.85, p = 0.1) (I2 = 34). Although the incidence of COVID-19-induced seizures is not high compared to other neurological manifestations, seizure incidence in epileptic patients with COVID-19 is remarkably high. New-onset seizures in any patient should be considered a presentation of COVID-19 in the absence of other causative factors.