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Epilepsy Res. 2001 Jul;46(1):33-8.

Neurosurgical treatment of medically intractable status epilepticus.

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  • 1Jefferson Comprehensive Epilepsy Center, Department of Neurology, Thomas Jefferson University Hospital, 4150 Gibbon Building, Philadelphia, PA 19107, USA.


Medically intractable status epilepticus can be defined as status epilepticus (SE) that persists or recurs despite medical treatment with intravenous agents that suppress cortical activity. We describe the successful neurosurgical treatment of three patients with medically intractable status epilepticus who responded either to focal resection, multiple subpial transection, or callosal section. The duration of medically intractable status epilepticus before surgery ranged between 23 and 42 days, and multiple medical complications occurred during the failed medical therapy. We suggest that patients with medically intractable status epilepticus who fail to respond to three courses of cerebral suppressant therapy for approximately 2 weeks be considered for surgical treatment in the absence of any known remitting etiology. Focal resection and/or subpial transection is preferred for intractable partial SE with focal electrographic changes or a focal lesion demonstrated by structural or functional neuroimaging. Corpus callosotomy may be used for patients with generalized or non-localizable intractable status epilepticus.

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