Meningiomas are the commonest type of primary brain tumours. Whilst most patients are seizure-free prior to surgery, antiepileptic drugs are frequently administered to reduce the risk of developing post-operative seizures. However, evidence to support their efficacy in providing this outcome is sparse. To this end, we performed a systematic review to assess the impact of prophylactic antiepileptic drugs on post-operative epilepsy rates in seizure-naïve patients undergoing craniotomy for resection of meningiomas. The literature search was performed using PubMed for studies published between January 1990 and November 2016. The total number of patients in each study was extracted and divided into cohorts according to administration of prophylactic antiepileptic drugs. Clinical characteristics, study type and post-operative epilepsy rates were recorded. A total of 11 studies involving 1143 patients met the selection criteria. There was no statistically significant difference in the number of patients who developed post-operative epilepsy in the cohort that received prophylactic antiepileptic drugs (20 of 766; 2.6%) and the cohort that did not (10 of 377; 2.7%) (Chi-square test; P=0.96). A detailed meta-analysis could not be performed due to the insufficiency in data reported. Based on the results of this systematic review, the routine use of antiepileptic drugs for seizure prophylaxis in seizure-naïve patients undergoing meningioma resection could not be substantiated. However, limitations of a systematic review should be considered on interpretation. High quality prospective randomised controlled trials are required to definitively answer this important clinical question.
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Antiepileptic drugs; Craniotomy; Meningioma; Post-operative seizure; Prophylaxis
Categories: Brain Tumor