Frequency of seizures in patients with newly diagnosed brain tumors: A retrospective review

Laura M. Lynam, Mark K. Lyons, Joseph F. Drazkowski, Joseph I. Sirven, Katherine H. Noe, Richard S. Zimmerman, James A. Wilkens

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

121 Scopus citations


Brain tumors may lead to symptomatic epilepsy. A retrospective analysis was undertaken to evaluate the frequency of seizure as the presenting symptom leading to brain tumor diagnosis in adults. One hundred and forty-seven consecutive patients with newly diagnosed brain tumors were analyzed regarding the frequency of seizures as the initial presenting symptoms and those subsequently developing seizures. One hundred twelve patients had primary central nervous system tumors (CNS) and 35 had metastatic lesions. Statistical evaluation was carried out using the Chi-square test with p values of <0.05 considered to be statistically significant. Astrocytomas and meningiomas were the most common primary CNS tumors in this study. Of these, oligodendrogliomas and grade 2 astrocytomas were significantly more likely to present with seizures (p < 0.001). Seizures were a frequent presenting symptom, occurring in over 38% of those with primary brain neoplasms and 20% of those with cerebral metastases. Primary location of tumor also correlated amongst primary CNS tumors and was associated with a trend in seizure risk: parietal (80%); temporal (74%); frontal (62%); and occipital (0%) (p < 0.5). The findings highlight the importance of obtaining appropriate evaluation for underlying malignancy in adults with new-onset seizures as well as provide more information to the patient for prognosis and counseling.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)634-638
Number of pages5
JournalClinical Neurology and Neurosurgery
Issue number7
StatePublished - Sep 2007


  • Brain tumor
  • Glioma
  • Management
  • Meningioma
  • Metastases
  • Seizures
  • Symptoms

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Clinical Neurology


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