Seizure After Percutaneous Endoscopic Surgery—Incidence, Risk Factors, Prevention, and Management

Chia Yu Lin, Chien Chun Chang, Chun Tseng, Yen Jen Chen, Chun Hao Tsai, Yuan Shun Lo, Pang Hsuan Hsiao, Hsi Kai Tsou, Chih Sheng Lin, Hsien Te Chen*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations


Background: Percutaneous endoscopic surgery is a popular surgery to treat lumbar spinal disorders. However, seizure after percutaneous endoscopic surgery is an unpredictable complication. The only prodromal sign for seizure currently known is neck pain. We reviewed the incidence of, and risk factors for, seizure during percutaneous endoscopic surgery and present the cases of 3 patients with seizure and our management. Case Description: From October 2006 to March 2019, 3 of 816 patients (0.34%) with thoracic lumbar disorders who had undergone percutaneous endoscopic surgery experienced a seizure episode. The cases of those 3 patients were carefully reviewed. Studies of the risk factors for seizure after spinal procedures reported before June 13, 2019 were identified through a PubMed search. We found that infusion fluid containing cefazolin, the infusion rate, a prolonged operative time, the occurrence of a dural tear, and sevoflurane anesthesia might be associated with seizure, both described in the reported data and found in our experience. Three patients who experienced a seizure episode had had general anesthesia with sevoflurane, and the surgical approach used was interlaminar for a herniated disc in L5-S1. We noted a “red flag sign,” namely an uncontrollable hypertension episode combined with a decreasing pulse rate, in all 3 patients who had experienced a seizure, which was not observed in the other patients. All 3 patients had received antihypertensive medication (labetalol) ≥3 times without response. Conclusion: Seizure after percutaneous endoscopic surgery is rare, but lethal. Although its cause remains unknown, all risk factors for seizure should be checked and corrected immediately when a red flag sign, uncontrolled hypertension, appears.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)411-417
Number of pages7
JournalWorld Neurosurgery
StatePublished - Jun 2020


  • Complication
  • Endoscopic
  • Hypertension
  • Minimally invasive surgery
  • Percutaneous
  • Seizure
  • Spinal surgery


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