Chapter 15 Seizures in Pregnancy. Diagnosis and Management

Robert L. Beach, Peter W. Kaplan

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

20 Scopus citations


Most seizures during pregnancy occur in women who already have epilepsy. During pregnancy most women will continue their previous level of seizure control, although 15-30% may experience an increase in seizures. Pregnancy-induced changes in antiepileptic drug pharmacokinetics are a major factor affecting changes in seizure control during pregnancy, although compliance is also a significant factor. Status epilepticus occurs in only 1-2% of pregnancies, and if treated appropriately and aggressively carries a fairly low risk of morbidity and mortality. Structural and metabolic changes may precipitate new-onset seizures during pregnancy. The structural causes include intracranial hemorrhage of multiple types, cerebral venous sinus thrombosis, and ischemic stroke. Metabolic causes include hyperemesis gravidarum; acute hepatitis (due to fatty liver of pregnancy or viral hepatitis); metabolic diseases, such as acute intermittent porphyria; infections, such as malaria; and eclampsia.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationEpilepsy in Women The Scientific Basis for Clinical Management
EditorsBarry Gidal, Cynthia Harden
Number of pages13
StatePublished - 2008

Publication series

NameInternational Review of Neurobiology
ISSN (Print)0074-7742

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology
  • Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience


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