Updates in the management of seizures and status epilepticus in critically ill patients

Neurol Clin. 2008 May;26(2):385-408, viii. doi: 10.1016/j.ncl.2008.03.017.


Seizures and status epilepticus are common in critically ill patients. They can be difficult to recognize because most are nonconvulsive and require electroencephalogram monitoring to detect; hence, they are currently underdiagnosed. Early recognition and treatment are essential to obtain maximal response to firstline treatment and to prevent neurologic and systemic sequelae. Antiseizure medication should be combined with management of the underlying cause and reversal of factors that can lower the seizure threshold, including many medications, fever, hypoxia, and metabolic imbalances. This article discusses specific treatments and specific situations, such as hepatic and renal failure patients and organ transplant patients.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Acute Disease
  • Anticonvulsants / therapeutic use*
  • Critical Care*
  • Epilepsy / complications
  • Epilepsy / drug therapy*
  • Epilepsy / physiopathology
  • Humans
  • Status Epilepticus / complications
  • Status Epilepticus / drug therapy*
  • Status Epilepticus / physiopathology


  • Anticonvulsants