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J Child Neurol. 2012 Jun;27(6):721-6. doi: 10.1177/0883073811424941. Epub 2011 Dec 7.

Continuous infusion pentobarbital for refractory status epilepticus in children.

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Department of Pharmacy, Children's Hospital Colorado, Aurora, CO 80045, USA.


The purpose of this retrospective medical chart review was to describe dosing regimens and outcomes in children who received continuous pentobarbital therapy for refractory status epilepticus. Thirty patients (age = 6.5 ± 5.1 years; 67% male) received a mean loading dose of 5.4 ± 2.8 mg/kg with an initial infusion of 1.1 ± 0.4 mg/kg/h. Maximum infusion dose was 4.8 ± 2 mg/kg/h. Thirty-three percent of patients achieved sustained burst suppression without relapse; 66.7% experienced relapse, but 60% of those (n = 12) eventually reachieved burst suppression. Children achieving burst suppression within 24 hours of pentobarbital initiation and those older than age 5 years were 1.5 times more likely to have a positive outcome. None of these variables, however, achieved significance (Fisher exact test). Ninety-three percent of patients required inotropes; 66% acquired an infection; 10% had metabolic acidosis; and 10% experienced pancreatitis. Poor outcomes (death, encephalopathy) were observed in 33% of patients.

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