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Clinical practice guidelines on the management of status epilepticus in adults: A systematic review.

Epilepsia 2024 April 13
OBJECTIVE: Status epilepticus (SE) is the second most common neurological emergency in adults. Despite improvements in the management of acute neurological conditions over the last decade, mortality is still durably high. Because a gap has emerged between SE management based on clinical practice guidelines (CPGs) and actual clinical practice, we conducted a systematic review of CPGs, assessing their quality, outlining commonalities and discrepancies in recommendations, and highlighting research gaps.

METHODS: We searched the PubMed and EMBASE databases and other gray literature sources (nine among guideline registries, evidence-based medicine databases, point-of-care tools; seven websites of governmental organizations and international neurologic societies) in December 2021 (updated in November 2023). The units of analysis were CPGs that included recommendations on the diagnostic and/or therapeutic management of SE in adults. The quality of the CPGs was assessed using the AGREE II tool.

RESULTS: Fifteen CPGs were included. The "Applicability" domain was assigned the lowest median score of 10%. The domains "Stakeholder Involvement", "Rigor of Development," and "Editorial Independence" were as well generally underrated. Recommendations on general and diagnostic management and on organizational interventions were fragmented and scattered. Recommendations on pre-hospital and hospital treatment of early-onset and refractory SE were broadly agreed, whereas there was less agreement on the treatment model and medications for established SE and super-refractory SE.

SIGNIFICANCE: The CPGs for the management of SE developed in recent years are flawed by several methodological issues and discrepancies in the coverage of important topics. The gap between CPG-based management of SE and actual clinical practice may be due in part to the inherent limitations of the CPGs produced so far.

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