We performed a follow-up study of patients with COVID-19 presenting with seizures.
All consecutive patients with seizures, who were referred to Namazee Hospital, Shiraz, Iran, with a diagnosis of COVID-19, from 10 August 2020 until 20 October 2020 were included in this longitudinal study. The clinical data were collected by the admitting physician. In a follow-up phone call to the discharged patients (after eight weeks or more), we inquired their seizure outcome.
In total, 32 patients were studied; 28 patients were followed. Twelve patients (37.5%) presented with a single tonic-clonic seizure and nine (28.1%) had convulsive status epilepticus; one patient had functional (psychogenic) seizures. Ten patients (31.3%) had pre-existing epilepsy, eight others (25%) had pre-existing CNS problems (without epilepsy), one person (3.1%) had pre-existing functional seizures, and 13 individuals (40.1%) neither had epilepsy nor had other CNS problems. Eight patients (28.6%) reported experiencing seizure(s) after being discharged from the hospital; six of these had pre-existing epilepsy and one had pre-existing functional seizures. One patient, who had a newly developed ischemic brain infarction, reported experiencing recurrent seizures.
Seizures in patients with COVID-19 are either acute symptomatic (in about two-thirds) or an exacerbation of a pre-existing epilepsy/functional seizures (in about one-third). A thorough investigation of the underlying etiology of seizures in patients with COVID-19 is necessary. Seizure outcome in patients, who are hospitalized with COVID-19 and seizures, is generally good.

Copyright © 2021 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.