Rev Neurol (Paris). 2023 Dec 1:S0035-3787(23)01116-5. doi: 10.1016/j.neurol.2023.08.021. Online ahead of print.
BACKGROUND: Primary central nervous system lymphoma (PCNSL) accounts for less than 5% of primary brain tumors. Epileptic seizures are a common manifestation of brain tumors; however, literature on the prevalence, characteristics, and oncological implications of seizures in patients with PCNSL is limited, and the management of antiepileptic drugs (AEDs) is unclear. This review aimed to summarize the existing knowledge on seizures in PCNSL, their potential association with surgery, oncological treatment, survival rates, and management of AEDs.
METHODS: A systematic review was performed according to the PRISMA recommendations and included articles published between 1953 and 2023 describing seizures in patients with PCNSL.
RESULTS: The search identified 282 studies, of which 21 were included. Up to 33% of patients with PCNSL developed seizures, mostly at the initial presentation. Little information was found on changes in seizure incidence through the course of the disease, and no details were found on seizure frequency, the percentage of treatment-resistant patients, or the evolution of seizures at remission. Younger age, cortical location, and immunodeficiency have been identified as potential risk factors for seizures, but evidence is very limited. The growing use of vigorous treatments including intensive chemotherapy with autologous stem cell transplantation and immunotherapy with CAR-T cells is associated with a higher incidence of seizures. The association between seizure development and patient mortality in PCNSL remains unknown. There are no data on AED prophylaxis or the use of specific AEDs in PCNSL.
CONCLUSIONS: Further studies are needed to investigate seizures in larger cohorts of PCNSL, to clarify their prevalence, better characterize them, identify risk factors, analyze survival rates, and make recommendations on AED management. We recommend following general practice guidelines for seizures symptomatic of brain tumors and not to prescribe AED prophylaxis in PCNSL.
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