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Novel Use of Responsive Neurostimulation (RNS System) in the Treatment of Super Refractory Status Epilepticus

Ernst, Lia D.*; Krause, Katie L.; Kellogg, Marissa A.*; Raslan, Ahmed M.; Spencer, David C.*

Journal of Clinical Neurophysiology: May 2019 - Volume 36 - Issue 3 - p 242–245
doi: 10.1097/WNP.0000000000000541
Case Report

Summary: There are very few randomized controlled trials studying treatment of super refractory status epilepticus (SE), despite estimated occurrence in about 15% of SE cases and its association with high morbidity and mortality rates. Small case series and case reports have described use of neurostimulation, including vagal nerve stimulation, transcranial magnetic stimulation, and deep brain stimulation, to treat super refractory SE when medical interventions have failed. To our knowledge, this is the first reported case of responsive neurostimulation being used to successfully treat a case of super refractory SE. A 37-year-old man with refractory focal epilepsy and a known focal cortical dysplasia involving motor cortex was implanted with an RNS System device after being in super refractory SE for 20 days. Responsive neurostimulation strip and depth electrodes were placed targeting the cortical dysplasia. Detection and stimulation parameters were adjusted over a 14-day period, as medications were gradually weaned. Seizures abated 15 days after implant, 24 hours after stimulation parameters were configured to mimic seizure offset pattern. Seizure remission was sustained, allowing the patient to be weaned off sedating medications and discharged to a rehabilitation facility. At 6 weeks of follow-up, the patient was near his neurologic baseline with no focal deficits.

Departments of *Neurology and

Neurosurgery, Oregon Health and Science University, Portland, Oregon, U.S.A.

Address correspondence and reprint requests to Lia D. Ernst, MD, Department of Neurology, OHSU Comprehensive Epilepsy Center, 3181 SW Sam Jackson Park Rd, Mail Code CR 120 Portland, OR 97239, U.S.A.; e-mail:

D. C. Spencer and L. D. Ernst have served as paid consultants for NeuroPace in the past, not related to the content of this manuscript. A. M. Raslan has served as a paid consultant for Abbott and has received educational grants from Abbott, Medtronic, and Boston Scientific. He received a research grant from Abbott. The remaining authors have no conflicts of interest to disclose.

L. D. Ernst and K. L. Krause contributed equally to the writing of this manuscript.

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© 2019 by the American Clinical Neurophysiology Society