Original Investigation

The effects of a history of seizures during pregnancy on umbilical arterial blood gas values in pregnant women with epilepsy


  • Özhan Özdemir
  • Mustafa Erkan Sari
  • Funda Arpaci Ertugrul
  • Aslihan Kurt
  • Vefa Selimova
  • Cemal Resat Atalay

Received Date: 11.06.2014 Accepted Date: 21.07.2014 J Turk Ger Gynecol Assoc 2014;15(3):135-139 PMID: 25317039


The objective of this study is to investigate if the number of seizures that occur during pregnancy has any effect on umbilical arterial blood gas values at delivery.

Material and Methods:

In total, 55 women who were 37 to 41 weeks pregnant and diagnosed with generalized tonic-clonic epilepsy and 50 pregnant women with similar characteristics but not diagnosed as epileptic were included in this study. The patients diagnosed with epilepsy were divided into two groups: 27 patients with a history of at least 5 epileptic seizures during pregnancy and 28 who had no seizures during pregnancy. All patients diagnosed with epilepsy had a history of caesarean delivery or a caesarean section under general anesthesia on the advice of neurology. Pregnant women in the control group were also chosen from among patients who had a caesarean on account of a previous caesarean delivery. In the cases included in the study, umbilical arterial blood gas sampling was performed immediately after delivery.


When the control group without epilepsy was compared with pregnant women who had no history of epileptic seizures during pregnancy, no difference was found in umbilical arterial blood gas values (p>0.05). When patients with a history of 5 or more epileptic seizures during pregnancy were compared with the control group without epilepsy and the patients with epilepsy who had no history of seizures during pregnancy, there was no statistically significant difference (p>0.05), although their umbilical arterial blood pH values were found to be lower, while partial carbon dioxide pressure (pCO2), values were higher and partial oxygen pressure (pO2) values were lower.


Taking potential fetal risks into consideration, maternal generalized tonic-clonic epileptic seizures might be worrying. Tonic-clonic seizures that occur during pregnancy appear to be associated with temporary hypoxia. Therefore, monotherapy for seizures and treatment at the lowest effective dose should be administered to women with epilepsy in the preconception and prenatal term.

Keywords: Epilepsy, pregnancy, umbilical arterial blood gas