Furosemide Terminates Limbic Status Epilepticus in Freely Moving Rats


Address correspondence and reprint requests to Dr. M. Holtkamp at Department of Neurology, University Hospital Charité, Schumannstr. 20/21, 10117 Berlin, Germany. E-mail: martin.holtkamp@charite.de


Summary: Purpose: To evaluate the anticonvulsant properties of furosemide and to determine sedative side effects compared with pentobarbital and diuretic side effects compared with saline-treated controls in an experimental model of limbic status epilepticus.

Methods: Self-sustaining status epilepticus was induced in rats by continuous electrical stimulation of the perforant path. Five minutes after the end of the stimulation, animals were given 100 mg/kg furosemide, 30 mg/kg pentobarbital, or an equal amount of saline, intraperitoneally. After administration of the substance, animals were monitored clinically and electrographically for 3 h regarding status epilepticus, level of sedation, and diuresis.

Results: In seven of 10 animals, furosemide terminated status epilepticus after 68 ± 26 min, whereas pentobarbital was successful in all animals after 5 ± 0.8 min. In contrast to pentobarbital, sedation did not occur with furosemide. Weight loss after furosemide was 10.2 ± 1.7% compared with 6.5 ± 1.1% in animals given saline (p < 0.001).

Conclusions: The results suggest that furosemide may serve as an alternative or additional agent for refractory complex partial status epilepticus in patients in whom common anesthetics are not justifiable.