Status epilepticus. Clinical features, pathophysiology, and treatment.


During the past two decades, substantial progress has been made in the understanding of the clinical features, classification, pathophysiology, central nervous system consequences, and treatment of status epilepticus. The most commonly used drug regimens have advantages and disadvantages, and, in this review, I recommend a protocol for the treatment of status epilepticus. An important concept in the approach to patients in generalized tonic-clonic status epilepticus is that treatment should be administered within a predetermined time frame. Clinical and experimental research indicates that continuous seizure activity for longer than 60 to 90 minutes may result in irreversible brain damage. As our understanding of the basic mechanisms of neuronal function and seizure generation advances, it is expected that more specific and novel approaches to the treatment of status epilepticus will emerge.

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