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Status Epilepticus

Do Treatment Guidelines Make Sense?

Unterberger, Iris

Journal of Clinical Neurophysiology: February 2016 - Volume 33 - Issue 1 - p 10–13
doi: 10.1097/WNP.0000000000000222
Invited Review

Summary: Status epilepticus represents an acute, potentially life-threatening emergency with considerable risks of morbidity and mortality, mainly depending on age at onset, underlying etiology, seizure severity, and medical comorbidities. Recent European and North American guidelines on management and treatment of status epilepticus strongly recommend prompt treatment to prevent further complications. At present, following a staged treatment protocol is recommended. Benzodiazepines are the treatment of choice in early status epilepticus, but there are no class I data supporting treatment recommendations on the choice of antiepileptic drugs for established and refractory status epilepticus. This article reviews advantages and potential drawbacks of the available guidelines.

Department of Neurology, Innsbruck Medical University, Innsbruck, Austria.

Address correspondence and reprint requests to Iris Unterberger, MD, Department of Neurology, Innsbruck Medical University, Anichstrasse 35, A-6020 Innsbruck, Austria; e-mail:

© 2016 by the American Clinical Neurophysiology Society