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Rev Neurol. 2012 Jul 1;55(1):20-5.

[Super-refractory status epilepticus: treatment with ketogenic diet in pediatrics].

[Article in Spanish]

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  • 1Servicio de Neuropediatria, Hospital Italiano de Buenos Aires, Buenos Aires, Argentina.



Super-refractory status epilepticus is that which persists despite suitable treatment with multiple anti-convulsive schemes, including prolonged coma with general anaesthetic. Different pharmacological treatment schemes have been proposed in these patients, including the use of a ketogenic diet.


This study is a retrospective analysis of five patient records of children between 1 and 14 years of age, three of whom were diagnosed with FIRES (febrile infection-related epilepsy syndrome) and two with a diagnosis of refractory symptomatic partial epilepsy. The mean age was six years and the mean duration of the status epilepticus was 32 days.


All the patients were given multiple therapeutic schemes; in all was obtained pharmacological coma with barbiturates to reach paroxysm-suppression pattern on electroencephalogram. Since the results of these strategies were not successful, a classical ketogenic diet was indicated. After starting the ketogenic diet, the clinical and electroencephalographic status epilepticus ceased in four patients with good tolerance. One patient did not respond and died.


In patients with super-refractory status epilepticus, when different anticonvulsive schemes are unsuccessful, the ketogenic diet would be a good option. The ketogenic diet in this severe clinical situation is highly effective and safe.

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