Electroencephalographic Seizures in Emergency Department Patients After Treatment for Convulsive Status Epilepticus

Shahriar Zehtabchi, Robert Silbergleit, James M. Chamberlain, Shlomo Shinnar, Jordan J. Elm, Ellen Underwood, Eric S. Rosenthal, Thomas P. Bleck, Jaideep Kapur

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


Purpose:It is unknown how often and how early EEG is obtained in patients presenting with status epilepticus. The Established Status Epilepticus Treatment Trial enrolled patients with benzodiazepine-refractory seizures and randomized participants to fosphenytoin, levetiracetam, or valproate. The use of early EEG, including frequency of electrographic seizures, was determined in Established Status Epilepticus Treatment Trial participants.Methods:Secondary analysis of 475 enrollments at 58 hospitals to determine the frequency of EEG performed within 24 hours of presentation. The EEG type, the prevalence of electrographic seizures, and characteristics associated with obtaining early EEG were recorded. Chi-square and Wilcoxon rank-sum tests were calculated as appropriate for univariate and bivariate comparisons. Odds ratios are reported with 95% confidence intervals.Results:A total of 278 of 475 patients (58%) in the Established Status Epilepticus Treatment Trial cohort underwent EEG within 24 hours (median time to EEG: 5 hours [interquartile range: 3-10]). Electrographic seizure prevalence was 14% (95% confidence interval, 10%-19%; 39/278) in the entire cohort and 13% (95% confidence interval, 7%-21%) in the subgroup of patients meeting the primary outcome of the Established Status Epilepticus Treatment Trial (clinical treatment success within 60 minutes of randomization). Among subjects diagnosed with electrographic seizures (39), 15 (38%; 95% confidence interval, 25%-54%) had no clinical correlate on the video EEG recording.Conclusions:Electrographic seizures may occur in patients who stop seizing clinically after treatment of convulsive status epilepticus. Clinical correlates might not be present during electrographic seizures. These findings support early initiation of EEG recordings in patients suffering from convulsive status epilepticus, including those with clinical evidence of treatment success.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)441-445
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Clinical Neurophysiology
Issue number6
StatePublished - Sep 1 2022


  • Convulsive status epilepticus
  • EEG
  • Electrographic status epilepticus
  • Grand Mal status epilepticus
  • Nonconvulsive seizures

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology
  • Neurology
  • Physiology (medical)
  • Physiology


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