The goal of this paper was to investigate the long-term outcome and the possible prognostic factors that might have influenced the persistence of posttraumatic epilepsy after penetrating head injuries sustained during the Iraq–Iran war (1980–1988).
In this retrospective study, the authors evaluated 189 patients who sustained penetrating head injury and suffered posttraumatic epilepsy during the Iraq–Iran war (mean 18.6 ± 4.7 years after injury). The probabilities of persistent seizures (seizure occurrence in the past 2 years) in different periods after injury were estimated using the Kaplan-Meier method. The possible prognostic factors (patients and injury characteristics, clinical findings, and seizure characteristics) were studied using log-rank and Cox regression analysis.
The probability of persistent seizures was 86.4% after 16 years and 74.7% after 21 years. In patients with < 3 pieces of shrapnel or no sphincter disturbances during seizure attacks, the probability of being seizure free after these 16 and 21 years was significantly higher.
Early seizures, prophylactic antiepileptics drugs, and surgical intervention did not significantly affect long-term outcome in regard to persistence of seizures.