Document Type



Paediatrics and Child Health (East Africa); Brain and Mind Institute


Objectives: We sought to determine risk factors associated with seizure recurrence following initial withdrawal of anti-seizure medications (ASM) among children with epilepsy.

Methods: This was a retrospective observational study of children aged between 2 and 18 years with a diagnosis of epilepsy who underwent withdrawal of anti-seizure medication following remission of seizures. All eligible medical records between January 2011 and December 2019 were included. Demographic, clinical, imaging and electroencephalography data of all eligible patients were analyzed against seizure remission within 24 months after withdrawal of ASM, using appropriate parametric and non-parametric tests.

Results: A total of 49 records of children who underwent withdrawal of ASM out of a total of 613 patients on follow up during the same period were included. The median age at ASM withdrawal was 70 months (IQR 52–112 months) and 14 (28.6%) were female. Thirteen patients (26.5%) had seizure recurrence within 24 months following withdrawal of ASM. Focal onset seizure type was associated with significant risk of seizure recurrence (OR 13.7; 95% CI 0.97, 193.54; P value = 0.011). Age at epilepsy diagnosis, abnormal EEG at initiation of treatment and at the time of de-escalation, abnormal MRI findings, first or second degree relative with epilepsy, history of developmental delay, seizure burden, use of 2 or more ASMs and duration of seizure-freedom before de-escalation of ASM were not associated with increased risk of relapse.

Conclusion: Focal onset seizure type is associated with increased with risk of seizure recurrence in this cohort.

Publication (Name of Journal)

Epilepsy & Behavior Reports

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Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

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