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Cardiac pathology in status epilepticus



Massive catecholamine release resulting in the formation of cardiac contraction bands may represent the cause of death in status epilepticus (SE). We reviewed the cardiac pathology of patients who died during SE to asses for contraction bands. Eight of 11 patients who died during SE had identifiable myocardial contraction bands compared with 5 of 22 control patients (p < 0.05, Fisher's exact t test). These findings delineate a pathological substrate and provide compelling evidence that excessive catecholamine release is the mechanism responsible for death in SE. Ann Neurol 2005