Status epilepticus (SE) is a common neurologic emergency and a frequent reason for admission to the intensive care unit. During the last decade, the advent and availability of diagnostic tools for the recognition of nonconvulsive SE has highlighted an even higher incidence of this condition among the critically ill. New alternatives in treatment have also become available within recent years. The recommendation of early escalation toward the use of general anesthetics in the treatment of convulsive SE follows the theory that the duration of the event defines the aggressiveness of the condition and the potential for long-term neuronal injury. Whether these new diagnostic and treatment tools are applicable to all patients with SE; and how they impact functional outcome and mortality, remain active subjects of clinical research.
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