20. Status Epilepticus in Childhood

  1. James W. Wheless
  1. Yu-Tze Ng1 and
  2. Rama Maganti2

Published Online: 1 NOV 2012

DOI: 10.1002/9781119998600.ch20

Epilepsy in Children and Adolescents

Epilepsy in Children and Adolescents

How to Cite

Ng, Y.-T. and Maganti, R. (2012) Status Epilepticus in Childhood, in Epilepsy in Children and Adolescents (ed J. W. Wheless), John Wiley & Sons, Ltd, Chichester, UK. doi: 10.1002/9781119998600.ch20

Editor Information

  1. Department of Pediatric Neurology, University of Tennessee Health Science Center, Le Bonheur Comprehensive Epilepsy Program and Neuroscience Institute, Le Bonheur Children's Hospital, Memphis, TN, USA

Author Information

  1. 1

    University of Oklahoma Health Science Center and The Children's Hospital, Pediatric Neurology, Oklahoma City, OK, USA

  2. 2

    Department of Neurology, Barrow Neurological Institute, St Joseph's Hospital and Medical Center, Phoenix, AZ, USA

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 1 NOV 2012
  2. Published Print: 23 NOV 2012

ISBN Information

Print ISBN: 9780470741238

Online ISBN: 9781119998600



  • status epilepticus;
  • children;
  • pediatric;
  • refractory;
  • epilepsy surgery


Status epilepticus remains a life-threatening condition that afflicts both adults and children. Although it occurs in patients with epilepsy, it often presents as new-onset seizure activity. Refractory status epilepticus poses a management challenge for neurological and potentially neurosurgical teams. Although the prognosis has probably improved over the years it remains a potential life-threatening emergency. Various investigations including neuroimaging and electroencephalography should be considered. Detailed discussion of various electroencephalographic patterns ensues. Medical therapy remains the mainstay treatment with some new drugs, although well-controlled clinical trials are lacking. For refractory epilepsy, medicallyinduced coma may be a necessary treatment although the optimal agents to use and degree of electroencephalographic suppression remain unclear. Neurosurgery is not a well-known treatment option that could be considered for refractory cases.