[Valproic acid-induced hyperammonemic encephalopathy in a patient receiving valproic acid monotherapy]

Hidetada Yamada, Takeo Shishido, Tomoya Mukai, Mutsuko Araki, Hiromitsu Naka, Hiroshi Tokinobu
Rinshō Shinkeigaku, Clinical Neurology 2019 April 26
A 79-year-old female was diagnosed with epilepsy because she experienced loss of consciousness twice in January and February and then had a seizure in June 2016. She was treated with 800 mg sodium valproate (sustained release). After 3 days, she experienced loss of appetite, and more than 3 days later, disturbance of consciousness. Serum valproic acid (VPA) concentration was 128.3 μg/ml and serum ammonia was 404 μmol/l. Cerebral edema and status epilepticus occurred. Severe neurological dysfunction remained, even after treatment with continuous hemodiafiltration and levocarnitine. VPA is widely used for the treatment of generalized epilepsy. VPA-induced hyperammonemic encephalopathy is a rare but serious adverse event of VPA. Thus, we must pay attention to serum ammonia levels when using VPA, even VPA monotherapy.

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