Incidence and short-term prognosis of status epilepticus in adults in Bologna, Italy

Epilepsia. 2003 Jul;44(7):964-8. doi: 10.1046/j.1528-1157.2003.63702.x.


Purpose: To determine the incidence and the 30-day case fatality of status epilepticus (SE) in the adult resident population of the city of Bologna, Italy.

Methods: Over a 1-year period (March 1, 1999 to February 29, 2000), all patients older than 20 years with SE were included. The case-finding method was based on (a) a prospective surveillance of all public general hospitals in the city by neurologic units, and (b) a review of all discharge codes concerning epilepsy.

Results: The crude and standardized annual incidence rate of SE was 13.1 per 100,000 [95% confidence interval (CI), 9.5-17.5] and 10.7 (95% CI, 7.5-13.8). It was higher in the elderly (older than 60 years) than in young adults (26.2 vs. 5.2) and in women than in men (14.9 vs. 11.0). Acute symptomatic SE accounted for 48%, and a cerebrovascular pathology was the most frequently associated etiologic condition (41%). A history of seizures was reported in 39% of patients. The 30-day case fatality was 39% (33% excluding postanoxic patients).

Conclusions: This study reports the first data on the epidemiology of SE in Italy. The incidence rate found in the population of Bologna is in the same range as that of the other European countries. The 30-day case fatality is higher than all the other population studies (both European and American), despite the broadly similar clinical features of patients. Indirect evidence suggests that some inaccurate patient management could have negatively influenced the outcome of SE.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Cause of Death
  • Cerebrovascular Disorders / complications
  • Cerebrovascular Disorders / mortality
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Italy / epidemiology
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Prognosis
  • Prospective Studies
  • Risk Factors
  • Status Epilepticus / etiology
  • Status Epilepticus / mortality*
  • Survival Rate
  • Urban Population