Status epilepticus and alcohol abuse: an analysis of 82 status epilepticus admissions.

In 1979-80, 82 cases of grand mal status epilepticus (71 patients, 39 male and 32 female) were admitted to the Casualty Department of Meilahti University Hospital in Helsinki, Finland. The cause of the underlying epilepsy was symptomatic in 43 cases (52.4%) and idiopathic in 19 cases (23.2%). In 6 cases (7.3%), there was a history of alcohol withdrawal seizures, and in 14 cases (17.1%) there was no earlier history of convulsions. Status epilepticus was associated with an acute or progressive cerebral disorder in 14 episodes. These comprised 6 bouts of status with brain tumour, 4 with acute stroke and 4 with brain injury. Alcohol abuse preceded the status in 29 episodes (35.4%), 23 of which occurred in men (53.5% of the male cases). Excessive use of alcohol was the only obvious precipitating factor for status in 16 cases, and in 6 cases the status presented as a prolonged alcohol withdrawal seizure. A change or irregularity of anticonvulsive drug therapy could be documented in 14 cases and an acute infection outside the central nervous system in 7 cases. Intravenous diazepam, used as the only therapy for status epilepticus, was effective in 58 of 78 episodes. In 7 cases of prolonged status, a thiopental sodium anaesthesia proved effective. The total mortality was 4.2%, including 2 deaths from concomitant extracerebral disorders and one late death from brain metastasis.
AuthorsA Pilke, M Partinen, J Kovanen
JournalActa neurologica Scandinavica (Acta Neurol Scand) Vol. 70 Issue 6 Pg. 443-50 (Dec 1984) ISSN: 0001-6314 [Print] DENMARK
PMID6516794 (Publication Type: Journal Article)
  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Alcoholism (complications)
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Status Epilepticus (etiology)

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