Refractory status epilepticus in children: role of continuous diazepam infusion.

To determine efficacy of continuous diazepam infusion in the treatment of refractory status epilepticus in a retrospective study, we analyzed data of 62 children admitted consecutively to our Pediatric Intensive Care Unit with a diagnosis of refractory status epilepticus. The unit followed a standard treatment protocol for diazepam infusion; if it failed, thiopental infusion was used. The mean age of patients was 2.80 years (range, 1.5 to 11.5 yr). Thirty-six patients (60%) had acute infections of the central nervous system and 10 (16%) had idiopathic epilepsy. Diazepam infusion was used in 57 patients. This treatment controlled seizures in 86% of patients (49/57), on average within 40 minutes (median, 30 min; range, 10-120 min), at a mean infusion rate of 0.017 mg/kg/min (range, 0.01-0.03 mg/kg/min). The mean total duration of infusion was 68 hours (range, 12-220 hr). Diazepam infusion was associated with hypotension in one patient, respiratory depression requiring ventilatory support in 12% of patients (6/49), and death in 14% of patients (7/49). Thiopental infusion was used in nine patients, including eight in whom diazepam infusion had failed. Thiopental infusion controlled seizures in all nine patients, but all of them needed mechanical ventilation, and seven needed vasopressor support for hypotension; four patients (44%) died. We conclude that continuous diazepam infusion is a reasonably effective modality to control refractory status epilepticus in children and is associated with reduced need for ventilatory and vasopressor support.
AuthorsS Singhi, S Banerjee, P Singhi
JournalJournal of child neurology (J Child Neurol) Vol. 13 Issue 1 Pg. 23-6 (Jan 1998) ISSN: 0883-0738 [Print] UNITED STATES
PMID9477244 (Publication Type: Comparative Study, Journal Article)
Chemical References
  • Anticonvulsants
  • Thiopental
  • Diazepam
  • Anticonvulsants (administration & dosage)
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Diazepam (administration & dosage)
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Infusions, Intravenous
  • Intensive Care Units
  • Male
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Seizures (prevention & control)
  • Status Epilepticus (drug therapy, physiopathology)
  • Thiopental (administration & dosage)

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