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J Postgrad Med. 2011 Jul-Sep;57(3):242-52. doi: 10.4103/0022-3859.81807.

Status epilepticus: why, what, and how.

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  • 1Department of Neurology, Sanjay Gandhi PGIMS, Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh, India.


Status epilepticus (SE) is an important neurological emergency with high mortality and morbidity. The first official definition of SE was the product of 10 th Marseilles colloquium held in 1962 which was accepted by International League Against Epilepsy in 1964. There are as many types of SE as of seizures. SE is supposed to result from failure of normal mechanisms that terminate an isolated seizure. In half of the cases, there is no history of epilepsy and SE is precipitated by some intercurrent infection. In children, it is often infection, whereas in adults, the major causes are stroke, hypoxia, metabolic derangements, and alcohol intoxication or drug withdrawal. The treatment of SE aims at termination of SE, prevention of seizure recurrence, management of precipitating causes, and the management of complications. The extent of investigations done should be based on the clinical picture and cost benefit analysis. The first line antiepileptic drugs (AED) for SE include benzodiazepines, phenytoin, phosphenytoin, and sodium valproate. Mortality of SE ranges between 7 and 39% and depends on underlying cause and response to AEDs.

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