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Intravenous and oral levetiracetam in patients with a suspected primary brain tumor and symptomatic seizures undergoing neurosurgery: the HELLO trial


Bähr, O; Hermisson, M; Rona, S; Rieger, J; Nussbaumer, S; Körtvelyessy, P; Franz, K; Tatagiba, M; Seifert, V; Weller, M; Steinbach, J P (2012). Intravenous and oral levetiracetam in patients with a suspected primary brain tumor and symptomatic seizures undergoing neurosurgery: the HELLO trial. Acta Neurochirurgica, 154(2):229-235.

Abstract

BACKGROUND: Levetiracetam (LEV) is a newer anticonvulsant with a favorable safety profile. There seem to be no relevant drug interactions, and an intravenous formulation is available. Therefore, LEV might be a suitable drug for the perioperative anticonvulsive therapy of patients with suspected brain tumors undergoing neurosurgery. METHODS: In this prospective study (NCT00571155) patients with suspected primary brain tumors and tumor-related seizures were perioperatively treated with oral and intravenous LEV up to 4 weeks before and until 4 weeks after a planned neurosurgical procedure. FINDINGS: Thirty patients with brain tumor-related seizures and intended neurosurgery were included. Three patients did not undergo the scheduled surgery after enrollment, and two patients were lost to follow-up. Therefore, 25 patients were fully evaluable. After initiation of therapy with LEV, 100% of the patients were seizure-free in the pre-surgery phase (3 days up to 4 weeks before surgery), 88% in the 48 h post-surgery phase and 84% in the early follow-up phase (48 h to 4 weeks post surgery). Treatment failure even after dose escalation to 3,000 mg/day occurred in three patients. No serious adverse events related to the treatment with LEV occurred. CONCLUSION: Our data show the feasibility and safety of oral and intravenous LEV in the perioperative treatment of tumor-related seizures. Although this was a single arm study, the efficacy of LEV appears promising. Considering the side effects and interactions of other anticonvulsants, LEV seems to be a favorable option in the perioperative treatment of brain tumor-related seizures.

BACKGROUND: Levetiracetam (LEV) is a newer anticonvulsant with a favorable safety profile. There seem to be no relevant drug interactions, and an intravenous formulation is available. Therefore, LEV might be a suitable drug for the perioperative anticonvulsive therapy of patients with suspected brain tumors undergoing neurosurgery. METHODS: In this prospective study (NCT00571155) patients with suspected primary brain tumors and tumor-related seizures were perioperatively treated with oral and intravenous LEV up to 4 weeks before and until 4 weeks after a planned neurosurgical procedure. FINDINGS: Thirty patients with brain tumor-related seizures and intended neurosurgery were included. Three patients did not undergo the scheduled surgery after enrollment, and two patients were lost to follow-up. Therefore, 25 patients were fully evaluable. After initiation of therapy with LEV, 100% of the patients were seizure-free in the pre-surgery phase (3 days up to 4 weeks before surgery), 88% in the 48 h post-surgery phase and 84% in the early follow-up phase (48 h to 4 weeks post surgery). Treatment failure even after dose escalation to 3,000 mg/day occurred in three patients. No serious adverse events related to the treatment with LEV occurred. CONCLUSION: Our data show the feasibility and safety of oral and intravenous LEV in the perioperative treatment of tumor-related seizures. Although this was a single arm study, the efficacy of LEV appears promising. Considering the side effects and interactions of other anticonvulsants, LEV seems to be a favorable option in the perioperative treatment of brain tumor-related seizures.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:04 Faculty of Medicine > University Hospital Zurich > Clinic for Neurology
Dewey Decimal Classification:610 Medicine & health
Language:English
Date:2012
Deposited On:03 Nov 2011 14:06
Last Modified:05 Apr 2016 15:04
Publisher:Springer
ISSN:0001-6268
Publisher DOI:10.1007/s00701-011-1144-9
PubMed ID:21909835
Permanent URL: http://doi.org/10.5167/uzh-50498

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