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Status epilepticus in adults
Status epilepticus is a common neurological emergency with considerable associated health-care costs, morbidity, and mortality. The definition of status epilepticus as a prolonged seizure or a series of seizures with incomplete return to baseline is under reconsideration in an effort to establish a more practical definition to guide management. Clinical research has focused on early seizure termination in the prehospital setting. The approach of early escalation to anaesthetic agents for refractory generalised convulsive status epilepticus, rather than additional trials of second-line anti-epileptic drugs, to avoid neuronal injury and pharmaco-resistance associated with prolonged seizures is gaining momentum. Status epilepticus is also increasingly identified in the inpatient setting as the use of extended electroencephalography monitoring becomes more commonplace. Substantial further research to enable early identification of status epilepticus and efficacy of anti-epileptic drugs will be important to improve outcomes.
Dr John P Betjemann MD, Prof Daniel H Lowenstein MD
The Lancet, Volume 14