Status Epilepticus in Children: Etiology, Clinical Features, and Outcome

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102 Scopus citations


Between August 1984 and September 1986, data were gathered prospectively on 114 episodes of convulsive status epilepticus, defined as seizure duration longer than 30 minutes, affecting 97 children. Status epilepticus was symptomatic in 72% (chronic 59%, acute 13%) and idiopathic or febrile in 28%. We identified precipitating factors in 63% of episodes. The most common factors were inadequate blood levels of anticonvulsants (32 of 60 episodes in children with prior seizures) and febrile illnesses, excluding meningitis or encephalitis (38 of 114 episodes). There was an elevated peripheral white blood cell count in 60%, acidosis with a pH of < 7.0 in 12.5%, and cerebrospinal fluid pleocytosis not due to meningitis or encephalitis in 8 of 64 episodes. Eight children died, three with severe pre-existing brain damage, two with meningitis, and two with a poorly defined encephalopathy. Eighteen children developed a new neurologic deficit. Outcome was associated with the etiology and duration of status epilepticus, with age at the time of status a minor factor. A permanent deficit occurred in only five children with idiopathic or febrile status epilepticus.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)167-173
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Child Neurology
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jul 1988

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Clinical Neurology

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