Prognosis following Postanoxic Myoclonus Status epilepticus

Eur Neurol. 2005;54(1):10-3. doi: 10.1159/000086755. Epub 2005 Jul 5.


Prediction of outcome after cardiac arrest has important ethical and socioeconomic implications. In general, delay in recovery of neurological function is associated with a worse prognosis. The presence of myoclonic seizures early after anoxia has been identified as a poor prognostic factor. We report a series of patients who developed postanoxic myoclonus status epilepticus (MSE), which was defined as continuous myoclonic seizure activity lasting 30 min or more. The results from 18 patients were retrieved, 11 men and 7 women, age ranging from 29 to 90 years. Myoclonus developed a mean of 11.7 h after cardiac arrest, persisting for a mean of 60.5 h. Sixteen (89%) died following MSE and the 2 survivors were highly dependent or remained in a persistent vegetative state, supporting the view that prognosis is poor in this condition.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Epilepsies, Myoclonic / etiology
  • Epilepsies, Myoclonic / physiopathology*
  • Female
  • Heart Arrest / complications
  • Humans
  • Hypoxia, Brain / etiology
  • Hypoxia, Brain / physiopathology*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Persistent Vegetative State / epidemiology
  • Persistent Vegetative State / etiology
  • Prognosis
  • Respiratory Insufficiency / complications
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Status Epilepticus / etiology
  • Status Epilepticus / physiopathology*