We sought to ascertain the drivers of the use of anti-seizure medications (ASMs) other than magnesium sulfate (MgSO) in seizure management in a cohort of pregnant and postpartum women with eclamptic seizure.
Cases of seizure activity attributed to eclampsia from 1995-2015 at 2 large urban academic medical centers were identified and reviewed by a neurologist and an obstetrician. Analyses focused on patterns of ASM utilization among women according to timing, recurrence, posterior reversible encephalopathy syndrome, and specialty consultation with additional sub-analysis focusing on recurrent seizures only.
93 cases of eclampsia were identified. 100% of subjects received MgSO. 52% of women received an ASM in addition to MgSO. Subjects with seizures occurring post-partum, with >1 seizure, or who had a formal neurology consult were more likely to receive an ASM in addition (risk ratio [RR] 3.05 [95% confidence interval [CI] [1.30-7.11], RR 3.01 [95% CI 1.29-7.02], and RR 6.29 [2.37, 16.71] respectively). Postpartum recurrent seizures or those receiving a neurology consult were also more likely to be treated with ASMs compared to recurrent or comanaged seizures occurring before delivery (RR 1.55 [1.02, 2.37] and 1.65 [1.02, 2.69]).
In this retrospective cohort, patients with atypical seizure presentation (e.g., postpartum and/or recurrent) and women who were comanaged with a neurologist were more likely to receive an ASM other than MgSO.

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