Current Trends in Treatment of Status Epilepticus and Refractory Status Epilepticus

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Status epilepticus is a heterogeneous disorder with varied definitions and presentations. Taken together, all forms of status epilepticus carry significant morbidity and mortality, much of which is dictated by the underlying etiology. Generalized convulsive status epilepticus, which represents a common form, is a true neurologic emergency that requires emergent management. Treatment focuses on stabilizing the patient and aggressive medical management to achieve the timely termination of seizures. For other forms of status epilepticus including nonconvulsive and focal status epilepticus, the goal remains early seizure termination, but the use of intravenous medications should be weighed against the risks associated with these therapies. The diagnostic evaluation of status epilepticus is guided by the patient's history and should be broad, including a screen for toxins, electrolytes, structural abnormalities, and central nervous system infectious and autoimmune/inflammatory etiologies. Considerable research is still needed to improve our understanding of the mechanisms, consequences, and therapy of status epilepticus.

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