Status epilepticus (SE) is associated with high morbidity and mortality. The American Epilepsy Society (AES) has established guidelines regarding proper dosing of antiepileptic drugs (AEDs). There are also recommendations for appropriate weaning off anesthetic agents in SE. Our aim was to determine the frequency with which guidelines were being followed during routine clinical care.
A retrospective chart review was completed for patients with a diagnosis of SE within the last 10 years. All patients with SE on anesthetic agents were included when analyzing AED dosing. Patients with anoxic brain injury were excluded when reviewing anesthetic wean times.
Seventy-six patients were identified on anesthetic agents. Five patients had anoxic brain injury and were excluded from the anesthetic weaning analysis. Medications were under dosed as follows: lorazepam 0.05 mg/kg (N=51), midazolam 0.07 mg/kg (N=14), fosphenytoin 17.9 mg/kg (N=47), levetiracetam 21.7 mg/kg (N=42), valproate sodium 16.7 mg/kg (N=12), phenobarbital 4.1 mg/kg (N=4), lacosamide 215 mg (N=13), and topiramate 333 mg (N=3). Anesthetic agents were weaned as follows: <24 hours 32/71 (45%), 24 to 48 hours 11/71 (15%), 48 to 72 hours 12/71 (17%), and >72 hours 11/71 (15%). Seizure recurrence rates were: 8/32 (25%) <24 hours, 2/11 (18%) 24 to 48 hours, 1/12 (8.3%) 48 to 72 hours, and 1/11 (9%) at >72 hours.
This retrospective review demonstrates how guidelines and recommendations for SE are not consistently followed. Under dosing of AEDs and aggressive weaning of anesthetic agents may result in higher morbidity and mortality.