Status Epilepticus in an Internal Medicine Ward: Different Patients Therefore Distinct Approaches

Miguel Trindade, Mafalda Teixeira, João Serôdio, Catarina Favas, José Delgado Alves

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background Status epilepticus (SE) is a medical condition that bestows substantial morbidity and mortality. Literature is scarce regarding SE in elderly patients, particularly in the context of internal medicine wards. Aim To characterize SE patients admitted to an internal medicine ward, identify potential outcome predictors and differences between young and elderly, as well as convulsive (CSE) and non-convulsive SE (NCSE) patients. Methods We enrolled 135 consecutive patients in an observational, retrospective cohort study. We established elderly patients as more than 64 years old and defined worse prognosis as a modified Rankin Scale (mRS)>4. Results The SE population was 73% elderly, and 75% presented with NCSE, mainly metabolic, idiopathic, or vascular SE. The intra-hospital mortality was 51%, and 62% had an mRS>4 at discharge. NCSE and electroencephalogram (EEG) with paroxysmal activity at discharge were predictive of a worse prognosis. Elderly patients had increased disability at admission, most had NCSE (81%), and the SE etiology differed with more idiopathic and vascular causes. In the elderly, mortality was increased, as was the number of patients with mRS>4 at discharge. NCSE patients had the more neurodegenerative disease (30%) and presented predominantly with vascular and anoxic causes. Morbidity and mortality were also increased in the NCSE group. There was no difference in the antiepileptic drugs used or in the percentage of patients achieving an EEG with no paroxysmal activity between the subpopulations. Conclusion SE in elderly patients should be addressed distinctly. Current approaches based on the strategies used for standard CSE have shown little or no efficacy overall.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)e34259
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2023


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