Refractory and super-refractory status epilepticus - An update

Sara Hocker, William O. Tatum, Suzette LaRoche, W. David Freeman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

43 Scopus citations


Status epilepticus is a medical emergency with a high mortality. Early recognition and initiation of treatment leads to a better response and may improve outcomes. Refractory status epilepticus is defined as recurrent seizure activity despite two appropriately selected and dosed antiepileptic drugs including a benzodiazepine. The term "super-refractory status epilepticus" was introduced during the London-Innsbruck Colloquium on status epilepticus in 2011 and refers to status epilepticus that continues or recurs 24 h or more after the initiation of treatment with anesthetic antiepileptic drugs. This includes cases in which seizure control is attained after induction of anesthesia but recurs on weaning the patient off the anesthetic agent. This article reviews the approach to refractory status epilepticus and super-refractory status epilepticus, including management as well as common pathophysiological causes of these entities.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number452
JournalCurrent neurology and neuroscience reports
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 2014


  • Anesthesia
  • Critical care
  • EEG
  • Status epilepticus
  • Super refractory

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Neuroscience
  • Clinical Neurology


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