Epidemiologic data on convulsive status epilepticus (CSE) is needed to develop preventative strategies. Epilepsy is one of the known risk factors for CSE. A systematic review of epidemiologic studies on status epilepticus (SE) completed in the United States and Europe reports that people with epilepsy account for less than 50% of cases of SE in all age groups. Less is known about the epidemiology of SE in developing countries including those in Central America. A high incidence of epilepsy, widespread non-adherence to anti-epileptic drugs (AED), and common use of complementary and alternative medicines have been shown in all ages in the developing country of Honduras, Central America. In 2003, an epidemiologic study of CSE in Honduran children demonstrated it is common and exhibits a long duration until onset of treatment. The etiologies, treatment, and outcomes of CSE in Honduran adults have not been thoroughly studied. This study is a consecutive case series of 31 adult patients presenting with CSE to the adult medicine emergency department of the tertiary care "Hospital Escuela" in the capital city Tegucigalpa, Honduras. The majority (77.4%) of patients had a prior history of epilepsy. Non-adherence to AED was the most common etiology of CSE (75.0%). The mortality rate in this pilot CSE study was 14.8%, which is similar to studies from industrialized countries where mortality from status epilepticus ranged from 7.6 to 22% for all age groups. However, this rate is concerning given that CSE from epilepsy and AED non-adherence generally carries a good prognosis. Improving AED adherence in this population appears to be the most effective approach in decreasing the rate, and possibly the mortality of Honduran adult CSE.
2010 British Epilepsy Association. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.