Effect of general anesthesia in patients with epilepsy: A population-based study

Sarah M. Benish, Gregory D. Cascino, Mary E. Warner, Gregory A. Worrell, C. Thomas Wass

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

21 Scopus citations


General anesthesia may be required for particular diagnostic and therapeutic procedures in patients with seizure disorders. There is concern regarding the safety of anesthetic drugs in these individuals because of the reported proconvulsant effect of selected medications. Potentially, general anesthesia may be associated with perioperative seizures or increased adverse effects in people with epilepsy. The rationale for the present study was to evaluate the outcome of general anesthesia in a population-based cohort with seizure disorders undergoing interventions that were unlikely to alter the seizure tendency, for example, magnetic resonance imaging study. Seizures were observed in only 6 of 297 (2%) anesthetic procedures, and intravenous therapy was required in only one patient. None of the patients had any reported adverse effect from general anesthesia. The current findings may be useful in counseling and guiding patients with seizure disorders, their caregivers, and their guardians regarding the risk of general anesthesia.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)87-89
Number of pages3
JournalEpilepsy and Behavior
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2010


  • Epilepsy
  • General anesthesia
  • Proconvulsant
  • Seizures

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neurology
  • Clinical Neurology
  • Behavioral Neuroscience


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