Status epilepticus

Anaesthesia. 2001 Jul;56(7):648-59. doi: 10.1046/j.1365-2044.2001.02115.x.


Status epilepticus is a medical emergency that requires rapid and vigorous treatment to prevent neuronal damage and systemic complications. Failure to diagnose and treat status epilepticus accurately and effectively results in significant morbidity and mortality. Cerebral metabolic decompensation occurs after approximately 30 min of uncontrolled convulsive activity, and the window for treatment is therefore limited. Therapy should proceed simultaneously on four fronts: termination of seizures; prevention of seizure recurrence once status is controlled; management of precipitating causes of status epilepticus; management of the complications. This article reviews current opinions about the classification, aetiology and pathophysiology of adult generalised convulsive status epilepticus and details practical management strategies for treatment of this life-threatening condition.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Algorithms
  • Anesthesia, General
  • Anticonvulsants / therapeutic use
  • Emergencies
  • Humans
  • Prognosis
  • Status Epilepticus / diagnosis
  • Status Epilepticus / physiopathology
  • Status Epilepticus / therapy*


  • Anticonvulsants