Peripheral WBC count and serum prolactin level in various seizure types and nonepileptic events

A. K. Shah, N. Shein, D. Fuerst, R. Yangala, J. Shah, Craig Watson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

39 Scopus citations


Purpose: To analyze effects of different types of seizures and nonepileptic events as well as effects of seizure duration and lapse between the time of seizure and blood collection on serum prolactin level and peripheral white blood cell (WBC) count. Methods: We prospectively collected blood samples from all patients admitted to our Epilepsy Monitoring Unit at baseline and after an event. Blood samples were analyzed, and serum prolactin level and WBC count were determined. Statistical analyses were performed to evaluate the relation of each type of seizure, its duration, and time lapse between a seizure and collection of blood sample to the serum prolactin level and peripheral WBC count. Results: Serum prolactin level increases above twice the level at baseline after a complex partial seizure or a generalized seizure. Peripheral WBC count is elevated above the upper limit of normal in about one third of cases after a generalized seizure. In generalized seizures, the length of a seizure is positively associated, whereas the lapse time between the seizure onset and blood draw is negatively correlated with the increase in WBC count. Thus the longer the seizure and quicker the blood draw, the higher the WBC count. Conclusions: We conclude that complex partial or generalized seizures are associated with an increase in serum prolactin level. Peripheral WBC count increases significantly after a generalized seizure and is probably transient in nature.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1472-1475
Number of pages4
Issue number11
StatePublished - 2001
Externally publishedYes


  • Leukocytosis
  • Nonepileptic event
  • Prolactin
  • Seizure
  • WBC

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology
  • Neuroscience(all)


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