Date: 24 Apr 2014

Refractory and Super-Refractory Status Epilepticus—an Update

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Abstract

Status epilepticus is a medical emergency with a high mortality. Early recognition and initiation of treatment leads to a better response and may improve outcomes. Refractory status epilepticus is defined as recurrent seizure activity despite two appropriately selected and dosed antiepileptic drugs including a benzodiazepine. The term “super-refractory status epilepticus” was introduced during the London–Innsbruck Colloquium on status epilepticus in 2011 and refers to status epilepticus that continues or recurs 24 h or more after the initiation of treatment with anesthetic antiepileptic drugs. This includes cases in which seizure control is attained after induction of anesthesia but recurs on weaning the patient off the anesthetic agent. This article reviews the approach to refractory status epilepticus and super-refractory status epilepticus, including management as well as common pathophysiological causes of these entities.

This article is part of the Topical Collection on Critical Care