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Q J Med. 1989 Jun;71(266):507-19.

Pseudostatus epilepticus.

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Mersey Regional Department of Medical and Surgical Neurology, Walton Hospital, Liverpool.


Thirteen patients with pseudostatus (simulated status epilepticus) have been compared to 13 patients with true status epilepticus seen at a regional neurological centre. Pseudostatus was common in patients with pseudoseizures and was often misdiagnosed as status epilepticus. Complications of this misdiagnosis included eight episodes of anticonvulsant-induced respiratory arrest. Patients with pseudostatus commonly had multiple episodes of 'status'. They usually also had a history of other unexplained illness and of deliberate self-poisoning. Management of these patients was difficult and emphasizes the need for specialist expertise for patients with epilepsy and apparent epilepsy.

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