Persistent nonconvulsive status epilepticus after the control of convulsive status epilepticus

R J DeLorenzo, E J Waterhouse, A R Towne, J G Boggs, D Ko, G A DeLorenzo, A Brown, L Garnett
Epilepsia 1998, 39 (8): 833-40

PURPOSE: Convulsive status epilepticus (CSE) is a major medical and neurological emergency that is associated with significant morbidity and mortality. Despite this high morbidity and mortality, most acute care facilities in the United States cannot evaluate patients with EEG monitoring during or immediately after SE. The present study was initiated to determine whether control of CSE by standard treatment protocols was sufficient to terminate electrographic seizures.

METHODS: One hundred sixty-four prospective patients were evaluated at the Medical College of Virginia/VCU Status Epilepticus Program. Continuous EEG monitoring was performed for a minimum of 24 h after clinical control of CSE. SE and seizure types were defined as described previously. A standardized data form entry system was compiled for each patient and used to evaluate the data collected.

RESULTS: After CSE was controlled, continuous EEG monitoring demonstrated that 52% of the patients had no after-SE ictal discharges (ASIDS) and manifested EEG patterns of generalized slowing, attenuation, periodic lateralizing epileptiform discharges (PLEDS), focal slowing, and/or burst suppression. The remaining 48% demonstrated persistent electrographic seizures. More than 14% of the patients manifested nonconvulsive SE (NCSE) predominantly of the complex partial NCSE seizure (CPS) type (2). These patients were comatose and showed no overt clinical signs of convulsive activity. Clinical detection of NCSE in these patients would not have been possible with routine neurological evaluations without use of EEG monitoring. The clinical presentation, mortality, morbidity, and demographic information on this population are reported.

CONCLUSIONS: Our results demonstrate that EEG monitoring after treatment of CSE is essential to recognition of persistent electrographic seizures and NCSE unresponsive to routine therapeutic management of CSE. These findings also suggest that EEG monitoring immediately after control of CSE is an important diagnostic test to guide treatment plans and to evaluate prognosis in the management of SE.

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