Neurological Sciences

, Volume 39, Issue 4, pp 757–760 | Cite as

When aphasia is due to aphasic status epilepticus: a diagnostic challenge

  • Sonia Quintas
  • Juan Camilo Ródriguez-Carrillo
  • Rafael Toledano
  • María de Toledo
  • Francisco José Navacerrada Barrero
  • M. Álvaro Berbís
  • Ana Beatriz Gago-Veiga
Brief Communication


Aphasic status epilepticus is an uncommon entity that should be included in the differential diagnosis of persistent and sudden language disorders. In our study, we describe seven patients admitted with clinical and electroencephalographic diagnosis of aphasic status, who were studied with both neuroimaging and electroencephalogram. The mean age was 65.9 years (range of 39–89). Three of the patients had previously been diagnosed of epilepsy. The aphasia was global in six patients. In one case, we found foci of the left hemorrhagic contusions. The initial electroencephalogram (EEG) was not conclusive of status in two patients. In one patient, neuroimaging showed left hemispheric hypoperfusion, compatible with postictal changes. Six out of seven patients required at least two antiepileptic drugs. Three patients died of systemic complications (infectious causes), whereas the other four cases had a complete recovery. Our study highlights that a second EEG study might be necessary to confirm epileptiform activity, when clinical features and other tests suggest an epileptic origin. An early and specific treatment, avoiding or diminishing comorbidities, might significantly improve the prognosis of these patients.


Status Aphasia Electroencephalogram Diagnosis Prognosis 


Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Ethical publication statement

We confirm that we have read the Journal’s position on issues involved in ethical publication and affirm that this report is consistent with those guidelines.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Italia S.r.l., part of Springer Nature 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Sonia Quintas
    • 1
  • Juan Camilo Ródriguez-Carrillo
    • 1
  • Rafael Toledano
    • 2
  • María de Toledo
    • 1
  • Francisco José Navacerrada Barrero
    • 3
  • M. Álvaro Berbís
    • 4
  • Ana Beatriz Gago-Veiga
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of NeurologyHospital Universitario de la PrincesaMadridSpain
  2. 2.Epilepsy Unit, Department of NeurologyHospital Ruber InternacionalMadridSpain
  3. 3.Hospital Universitario Infanta Sofía, San Sebastián de los ReyesMadridSpain
  4. 4.Health TimeCórdobaSpain

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