July 10, 2018

The Etiology and Prognosis of Super-Refractory Convulsive Status Epilepticus in Children

BACKGROUND: Both refractory convulsive status epilepticus (SE) and super-refractory SE are medical emergencies. However, there are limited data on super-refractory SE in children. Thus, this study focuses on characterizing the demographics, outcomes, and prognostic factors for super-refractory SE in children.

METHODS: This study was a retrospective analysis of super-refractory SE treated in a tertiary referral center in Taiwan. The functional outcome was evaluated by modified Rankin scale (mRS). Significant functional decline was defined as an mRS difference (before hospital admission and at discharge) of more than 2. The variates and the follow-up mRS values were then analyzed statistically.

RESULTS: We enrolled 134 patients with 191 episodes of convulsive SE and identified 30 patients with 38 episodes of convulsive super-refractory SE. The incidence of convulsive super-refractory SE in the group with SE was 19.9%, and the age ranged from 2.5?months to 17?years. In-hospital mortality was 13.3%, which was much lower than that of adult cohorts. Newly acquired epilepsy and cognitive deficit occurred in 100% and 88.5%, respectively. Newly acquired epilepsy, as a sequel of super-refractory SE, was observed in all 18 patients (100%) who survived and had no history of epilepsy. Significant functional decline (mRS difference of more than 2) at discharge occurred in 76.7%. Poor functional outcome was associated with acute symptomatic etiology (P?<?0.001) and the number of anesthetic agents (P?=?0.002). The functional outcome improved after 1?year of follow-up in our population.

CONCLUSIONS: Super-refractory status epilepticus is associated with significant morbidity and mortality in children. However, the in-hospital mortality rate is much lower compared with adults. The functional outcome in children is associated with acute symptomatic etiology and the number of anesthetic agents and may improve after long-term follow-up.

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