The course and outcome of pregnancy and neonatal situation in epileptic women


1 Department of Neurology, Alzahra Hospital, Isfahan, Iran

2 Isfahan Neuroscience Research Center, Isfahan, Iran

3 Department of Neurology, Kashani Hospital, Isfahan, Iran

4 Anesthesiologist, Isfahan University of Medical Sciences, Isfahan, Iran


Background: Epilepsy is a rare neurologic disorder during pregnancy. Despite its rarity, it could cause different clinical problems in this natural phenomenon of a woman's life. The aim of this study was to evaluate and compare the course of pregnancy and labor and their outcome in epileptic and healthy women.
Materials and Methods: This study was performed during years 2009--2011 in Alzahra and Beheshti hospitals affiliated to Isfahan University of Medical Sciences. A total of 51 pregnant women, who were known cases of epilepsy and were on antiepileptic drugs treatment for at least 3 months, were compared with 47 matched healthy pregnant women without epilepsy. They were followed before and during their pregnancy in several visits and all of their neurologic and obstetric information were collected. For statistical analysis of continuous variables, the t-test was used. The chi-square test was used for dichotomous variables.
Results: The rate of monotherapy was more than polytheraphy especially during the pregnancy. The epileptic attacks stopped in majority of patients during the pregnancy. Vaginal bleeding (P=0.020) and abortion (P=0.015) were significantly more frequent among epileptic mothers. The gestational age was lower meaningfully (P= 0.010) in epileptic patients' neonates and the first minute Apgar score was lower in these babies too (P=0.028).
Conclusions: Antiepileptic drugs could have some unsuitable effects on pregnancy course especially by increasing the rate of abortion, preterm labor, and vaginal bleeding. Their adverse effects on neonates' health could not be neglected.


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