Partial Status Epilepticus with Paradoxical Protein-Cytologic Dissociation in Cerebrospinal Fluid

Neeraj Singh, John J. Lansing, Aparna Polavarapu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Status epilepticus is associated with high morbidity and mortality, often requiring multiple drug interventions and intensive care monitoring. Etiology of status epilepticus plays a crucial role in the treatment, natural course and outcome of the patient, prompting extensive testing and imaging. For example, an important risk for status epilepticus in adults and children is the presence of an underlying viral or bacterial central nervous system infection, appropriate treatment of which can improve the outcome of the patient. We present three cases of new-onset refractory status epilepticus in women who did not have evidence of a central nervous system infection and had significantly elevated leukocytes compared to protein in the cerebrospinal fluid. This finding suggests an autoimmune etiology; however, standard autoimmune testing was unremarkable in all cases. This case series highlights the variability in presentation and clinical course in patients presenting with status epilepticus of unknown cause, and we discuss the importance of further research into appropriate and reliable diagnostic evaluations.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numberIJEP1800066
Pages (from-to)59-64
Number of pages6
JournalInternational Journal of Epilepsy
Issue number2
StatePublished - Oct 1 2020


  • autoimmune encephalitis
  • new-onset refractory status epilepticus
  • paraneoplastic syndrome
  • partial status epilepticus

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology


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