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REVIEW ARTICLE
Year : 2016  |  Volume : 3  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 83-95

Intensive care management of status epilepticus


Department of Neuroanesthesia, Indraprastha Apollo Hospital, New Delhi, India

Correspondence Address:
Nidhi Gupta
Department of Neuroanesthesia, Indraprastha Apollo Hospital, New Delhi - 110 076
India
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/2348-0548.182344

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Status epilepticus (SE) is a life-threatening neurological emergency that requires prompt diagnosis and treatment. SE may be classified into convulsive and non-convulsive types, based on the presence of rhythmic jerking of the extremities. Clinically, tonic-clonic convulsive SE (CSE) is divided into four subsequent stages: Early, established, refractory and super-refractory. Initial elements of resuscitation include airway protection, haemodynamic resuscitation and seizure control. Further treatment should then be guided by the diagnostic workup. Rapid treatment of early SE is achieved with intravenous (IV) lorazepam or intramuscular midazolam. In established SE, IV antiepileptic drugs (AEDs) (phenytoin/fosphenytoin, valproate, levetiracetam, phenobarbital) are most commonly used, but there is no Class I evidence for choosing one over the other. Considered overall, cumulative data from the literature are consistent with valproate and levetiracetam, being a safe and effective therapeutic alternative to phenobarbital and phenytoin for treatment of established SE. Refractory SE (RSE) and super-RSE are treated with anaesthetic medications (propofol, midazolam, thiopental/pentobarbital, ketamine), non-anaesthetic drugs (lidocaine, magnesium, pyridoxine), AEDs (levetiracetam, lacosamide, topiramate, lacosamide, pregabalin, gabapentin) and other cause-directed treatments with low success rates. Potential non-pharmacologic interventions to be considered in super-RSE include hypothermia, electroconvulsive therapy, ketogenic diet, immunomodulatory treatments, emergency resective epilepsy surgery, cerebrospinal fluid drainage and vagal nerve or deep brain stimulation or transcranial magnetic stimulation. Diagnosis of non-CSE requires continuous electroencephalography and involves a high index of suspicion in all patients with an altered mental status of unclear cause or with a prolonged postictal state. Treatment options include addressing underlying causes and aggressive pharmacologic interventions with a benzodiazepine, phenytoin and valproate.


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