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Medline ® Abstract for Reference 161

of 'Convulsive status epilepticus in adults: Treatment and prognosis'

Treatment of refractory generalized tonic-clonic status epilepticus with pentobarbital anesthesia after high-dose phenytoin.
Osorio I, Reed RC
Epilepsia. 1989;30(4):464.
We report the results of treatment of refractory generalized tonic-clonic status epilepticus in 17 adults. Of 13 patients who received high-dose phenytoin (PHT, mean dose 23.8 mg/kg), seizure control was sustained in five patients. In 12 cases, anesthetic doses of pentobarbital rapidly suppressed convulsions, but sustained control required prolonged treatment. Break-through seizures were, in most cases, explained by inadequate serum pentobarbital concentrations, although we could not establish a therapeutic range of serum concentrations. EEG monitoring is necessary to assess the therapeutic response but is not a reliable index of depth of anesthesia. Some cases developed pharmacodynamic tolerance to pentobarbital. The most serious treatment complications were cardiorespiratory, but the most common and disabling side effects, although reversible, were neurologic. Fifteen patients were discharged from the hospital in stable condition; two patients died, but not as a direct consequence of treatment. Our results suggest a very good outcome of pentobarbital anesthesia for patients in refractory status epilepticus who are a reasonable medical risk and who receive optimal medical management.
Department of Neurology, University Hospitals of Cleveland, Case Western Reserve University, Ohio 44106.