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Neurology. 1990 Dec;40(12):1843-8.

The significance of myoclonic status epilepticus in postanoxic coma.

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Department of Clinical Neurological Sciences, Victoria Hospital, London, ON, Canada.


We report 11 adults who exhibited myoclonic status epilepticus (MSE) after cardiac arrest. Based on pathologic, electroencephalographic, and clinical evidence, we conclude that our patients died from the initial anoxic-ischemic insult rather than as a result of MSE. We suggest that the seizures in these nonsurvivors were self-limited events arising from lethal damage to neurons. Thus, in patients with bilaterally synchronous facial myoclonus, bilateral loss of pupillary or oculovestibular reflexes, and suppression and burst-suppression on EEG, it is not warranted to use anesthetic barbiturates to treat MSE.

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