Status epilepticus in childhood


  • Conflict of interest: YTN is a paid consultant for Lundbeck, Inc. and on the speakers' bureau for Lundbeck, Inc., UCB Pharma, Inc. and Cyberonics, Inc. RM has served as an advisory board member for Lundbeck, Inc. and Jazz Pharmaceuticals, Inc. and served as a speaker for UCB Pharma, Inc. and GSK Pharmaceuticals, Inc. None of the activities are related to the current paper.

Associate Professor Yu-Tze Ng, Division of Pediatric Neurology, University of Oklahoma Medical Center, 711 Stanton L Young Boulevard #215, Oklahoma City, OK 73104, USA. Fax: +1 (405) 271 5723; email:


Status epilepticus (SE) remains a life-threatening condition that afflicts both adults and children, and may occur at onset of epilepsy, especially in children. Febrile SE is the most common cause in children, while other symptomatic causes are less frequent compared to adults. The aetiological workup that must be undertaken in all cases includes neuroimaging and electroencephalography. The various electroencephalographic patterns seen in patients with SE along with the out-of-hospital treatment for SE in children and treatment strategies in cases that are refractory to first-line medical treatments are discussed. Medically induced coma may be necessary in refractory cases, although the optimal agents to use and degree of electroencephalographic suppression in children remain unclear. Neurosurgery is not a well-known treatment option that could be considered for refractory cases. Although the prognosis has probably improved over the years, it remains a potential life-threatening emergency.