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Refractory status epilepticus: a developing country perspective

S Sinha, D K Prashantha, K Thennarasu, G S Umamaheshwara Rao, P Satishchandra
Journal of the Neurological Sciences 2010 March 15, 290 (1-2): 60-5

OBJECTIVE: To analyse the underlying causes, therapeutic response and outcomes of convulsive refractory status epilepticus (RSE).

METHODOLOGY: This retrospective analysis was carried on 98 patients with RSE (age: 16.9+/-14.5 years). All had received a combination of parenteral benzodiazepine and phenytoin or phenobarbitone followed by other anti-epileptic drugs (AEDs). The clinical, EEG, imaging features of convulsive RSE and long-term seizure outcome were analysed.

RESULTS: Seventy six patients had de novo RSE for the first time in life. The mean duration of RSE, before and during NICU admission was 3.4+/-3.2 days and 2.9+/-2.4 days respectively. The mean duration of NICU stay and mechanical ventilation was 17.4+/-14.5 was 14.4+/-12.8 days respectively. The precipitating factors included viral fever - 13, AEDs stoppage - 7 and alcohol - 1. EEG was abnormal in 81.5% of patients. CT and MRI were abnormal in 63.4% and 82.3% respectively. Thirty-four patients died and compared to those surviving, patients were older, had lesser duration of NICU stay and elevated CSF protein. Dependence for activities of daily living (ADL) at discharge was: recovered - 29, mild to moderate - 13 and severe - 22. Seizure outcome in 64 patients after 43.5+/-58.2 weeks were - seizure-free: 65.6%, one seizure: 21.8%, >1 seizure/month: 14.1%, and seizure recurrence requiring admission: 1.5%. After six and twelve months of follow up, the long-term seizure outcome were: seizure-free: 48.3% and 28.6%; one seizure: 27.6% and 38.1%; >1 seizure/month: 20.7% and 28.6%; and seizure recurrence requiring admission: 3.4% and 4.7% respectively. Among those survived 49 de novo RSE, about one-third developed post-SE symptomatic seizures after 30.1+/-54.4 weeks.

CONCLUSIONS: Seizures could still be controlled in two-thirds of patients with convulsive RSE. About 30% of patients achieved long-term seizure freedom.


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