October 3, 2022

Long Term Outcomes After New-Onset Refractory Status Epilepticus (NORSE): Treatment with Vagus Nerve Stimulation

Abstract found on Wiley Online Library

New-onset refractory status epilepticus (NORSE) is associated with high mortality, therapy resistant epilepsy (TRE) and poor cognitive and functional outcomes. Some patients develop multifocal TRE, for whom surgery with a curative intention, is not an option. In these patients, Vagus Nerve Stimulation (VNS) is performed as a palliative treatment. We report the long-term outcomes regarding seizure frequency, functional and cognitive outcome, and effectiveness of VNS in two patients with TRE as a consequence of NORSE. In the first patient with cryptogenic new-onset refractory status epilepticus, vagus nerve stimulation implantation occurred during the acute stage, probably contributing to the cessation of her status epilepticus. However, in the long-term follow-up, the patient persisted with daily multifocal seizures. In the second patient, VNS implantation was delayed to manage his epilepsy when the NORSE, ultimately due to autoimmune encephalitis, had resolved. During long-term follow-up, no reduction in seizure frequency was achieved. The current evidence supporting the use of vagus nerve stimulation in patients with therapy resistant epilepsy after new-onset refractory status epilepticus warrants further investigation.