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Epilepsia. 2010 Feb;51(2):251-6. doi: 10.1111/j.1528-1167.2009.02323.x. Epub 2009 Oct 8.

Refractory status epilepticus: a prospective observational study.

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  • 1Service de Neurologie, Centre Hospitalier Universitaire Vaudois and University of Lausanne, Lausanne, Switzerland.

Abstract

PURPOSE:

Status epilepticus (SE) that is resistant to two antiepileptic compounds is defined as refractory status epilepticus (RSE). In the few available retrospective studies, estimated RSE frequency is between 31% and 43% of patients presenting an SE episode; almost all seem to require a coma induction for treatment. We prospectively assessed RSE frequency, clinical predictors, and outcome in a tertiary clinical setting.

METHODS:

Over 2 years we collected 128 consecutive SE episodes (118 patients) in adults. Clinical data and their relationship to outcome (mortality and return to baseline clinical conditions) were analyzed.

RESULTS:

Twenty-nine of 128 SE episodes (22.6%) were refractory to first- and second-line antiepileptic treatments. Severity of consciousness impairment and de novo episodes were independent predictors of RSE. RSE showed a worse outcome than non-RSE (39% vs. 11% for mortality; 21% vs. 63% for return to baseline clinical conditions). Only 12 patients with RSE (41%) required coma induction for treatment.

DISCUSSION:

This prospective study identifies clinical factors predicting the onset of SE refractoriness. RSE appears to be less frequent than previously reported in retrospective studies; furthermore, most RSE episodes were treated outside the intensive care unit (ICU). Nonetheless, we confirm that RSE is characterized by high mortality and morbidity.

PMID:
19817823
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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