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Year : 2018  |  Volume : 13  |  Issue : 4  |  Page : 1096-1100

Comparison of phenytoin versus levetiracetam in early seizure prophylaxis after traumatic brain injury, at a tertiary care hospital in Karachi, Pakistan

1 Department of Neurosurgery, Dow University of Health Sciences, Civil Hospital, Karachi, Pakistan
2 Department of Neurology, Dow University of Health Sciences, Civil Hospital, Karachi, Pakistan

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Saqib Basar
Department of Neurosurgery, Civil Hospital, Baba E Urdu Road, Karachi
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/ajns.AJNS_125_17

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Aims: The aim of the study was to compare the efficacy of phenytoin and levetiracetam for seizure prophylaxis in patients with severe traumatic brain injury (TBI). Subjects and Methods: A randomized controlled trial was conducted over a period of 6 months, at a tertiary health care center in Karachi, Pakistan. Patients with TBI were divided into two groups. Patients in Group A were given phenytoin, whereas Group B patients received levetiracetam. The first dose of the drugs was given within 24 h of injury and continued for 7 days. Data were collected using a predesigned pro forma. All the patients who were in a state of persistent coma, had altered mental status, or had clinical signs of seizures underwent a 1-h electroencephalographic (EEG) recording to observe the seizures, the first EEG was done on the 1st day posttrauma and a second one was done on day 7 of drug use, both the EEGs were compared for changes. We also analyzed the patients according to their duration of antiepileptic drug therapy, length of hospital stay, and complications during therapy. Results: One hundred and forty (117 males and 23 females) patients who presented with TBI having a mean age of 29.48 ± 16.24 years were part of the study. The most prevalent cause of brain injury was road traffic accidents in 72.85% patients. There was no significant relationship between the antiepileptic drug used with the initial EEG (P = 0.313) and seizure activity (P = 0.502). However, a significant correlation of the antiepileptic drug used was found with EEG (P = 0.002) and seizure activity (P = 0.014) on follow-up. Patients who took levetiracetam had decreased the incidence of abnormal EEG and seizure activity on follow-up. There was not any correlation between GCS both initially (P = 0.845) and on follow-up (P = 0.104) with the antiepileptic drug used. Conclusion: The incidence of abnormal EEGs and seizure activity in patients with TBI is the same for both levetiracetam and phenytoin for the initial 7 days post-TBI; however, the incidence of seizures is lower for patients who used levetiracetam on the subsequent follow-up.

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