Inhibitory simple partial (non-convulsive) status epilepticus after intracranial surgery

J Neurol Neurosurg Psychiatry. 2000 Jul;69(1):18-24. doi: 10.1136/jnnp.69.1.18.


Objectives: To report on five patients who developed, 2 to 4 days after an intracranial neurosurgical procedure, new, persistent, focal neurological deficits which were due to inhibitory simple partial (non-convulsive) status epilepticus, and resolved with anticonvulsant treatment.

Methods: The age range of the five patients was 15-74 years. The operations were: aneurysm clipping (three patients) and resections of an oligodendroglioma and a cavernous haemangioma (one patient each). The new focal deficits were: right hemiparesis and aphasia (two patients), aphasia alone (two patients), and left hemiparesis (one patient). The deficits were not explained by CT (obtained in all patients) or cerebral angiography (performed in two).

Results: Electroencephalography showed, in all patients, continuous or intermittent focal seizures arising from cortex regionally relevant to the clinical dysfunction. Subtle positive epileptic phenomena (jerking) occurred intermittently in three patients as a late concommitant. Administration of anticonvulsant drugs resulted in significant improvement within 24 hours in four patients, with parallel resolution of ictal EEG activity. The fifth patient improved more slowly. Two patients relapsed when anticonvulsant concentrations fell, and improved again when they were raised.

Conclusions: It is suggested that inhibitory simple partial (non-convulsive) status epilepticus be considered in the differential diagnosis when a new unexplained neurological deficit develops after an intracranial neurosurgical procedure. An EEG may help to diagnose this condition, leading to definitive treatment.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Anticonvulsants / adverse effects
  • Anticonvulsants / therapeutic use
  • Brain Diseases / diagnosis
  • Brain Diseases / surgery*
  • Brain Neoplasms / diagnosis
  • Brain Neoplasms / surgery*
  • Cerebral Cortex / physiopathology
  • Cerebral Cortex / surgery
  • Craniotomy*
  • Electroencephalography* / drug effects
  • Evoked Potentials / drug effects
  • Evoked Potentials / physiology
  • Female
  • Hemangioma, Cavernous / diagnosis
  • Hemangioma, Cavernous / surgery
  • Humans
  • Intracranial Aneurysm / diagnosis
  • Intracranial Aneurysm / surgery
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Neural Inhibition / drug effects
  • Neural Inhibition / physiology*
  • Oligodendroglioma / diagnosis
  • Oligodendroglioma / surgery
  • Postoperative Complications / diagnosis
  • Postoperative Complications / drug therapy
  • Postoperative Complications / physiopathology*


  • Anticonvulsants