Cerebrovascular disease has different acute, ischemic and hemorrhagic presentations and may be associated with epileptic crises during the acute phase, or a later epileptic syndrome may develop. Status epilepticus is an infrequent complication which may appear at any time during the course of the illness, sometimes as the first and only sign of epilepsy.
The risk of acute crises or of an epileptic syndrome varies depending on the nature of the vascular accident: its occurrence is more likely in hemorrhagic lesions and in those involving the cerebral cortex. The acute crises may be treated with benzodiazepines or with fast acting antiepileptic drugs; parenteral administration may sometimes be necessary. The need for prolonged prophylactic antiepileptic treatment is still under discussion, since there is no evidence that this prevents later development of an epileptic syndrome. The management of status epilepticus is the same whatever the etiology, although one has to take account of the risk of side-effects related to the age and general health of the patient.
When deciding on treatment for vascular epilepsy consideration should be given not only to which drugs are to be used, but also their pharmacokinetic characteristics and interactions with any treatment required by the patient for coexisting conditions such as arterial hypertension, heart failure, anticoagulation, diabetes, etc.
CITATION Rev Neurol. 1999 Feb 1-15;28(3):309-19
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