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Epilepsy Res. 2008 Dec;82(2-3):219-22. doi: 10.1016/j.eplepsyres.2008.08.005. Epub 2008 Sep 19.

Ketamine successfully terminates malignant status epilepticus.

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  • 1Department of Neurology, Charité - Universitätsmedizin Berlin, Berlin, Germany.


A 22-year-old woman with mitochondriopathy and pre-existing epilepsy developed status epilepticus (SE) not responding to benzodiazepines, phenytoin, thiopental, and propofol. SE was terminated within days after supplemental administration of continuous ketamine infusion to midazolam. The case suggests strong anticonvulsant properties of ketamine even after failure of GABAergic anesthetics, likely due to increased NMDA receptor expression with ongoing seizure activity. Thus, ketamine should be incorporated into therapeutic regimens for difficult-to-treat SE.

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