PURPOSE: To summarize information on the history, incidence, clinical manifestation, best treatment, as well as prognosis of seizures in transplant recipients.
METHODS: In October 2017, we searched the literature on PubMed in English with the search terms: “transplantation” AND “seizure”, “transplantation” AND “epilepsy”, “transplantation” AND “status epilepticus”, “immunosuppressant” AND “seizure”, “immunosuppressant” AND “epilepsy”. Publications not based on new data and original research were not included in this article.
RESULTS: Seizures including generalized seizures, focal seizures and status epilepticus are a common central nervous system complication after transplantation. The incidence of seizures varied between different kinds of transplantations. The reported incidence of seizures was 7%-27% in association with solid organ transplantations and 1.6%-15.4% with hematopoietic stem cell transplantation. Most of seizures appeared in the early post-transplantation period. Patients often had a favorable prognosis, however, in some conditions, recurrent or intractable seizures may occur.
CONCLUSIONS: The underlying pathogenesis of new-onset seizures or epilepsy in recipients of transplantation needs to be further elucidated. In addition, more information is required from prospective studies and research focusing on therapeutic strategies.