Is brain atrophy inevitable following super-refractory status epilepticus?

Progressive brain atrophy in super-refractory status epilepticus

Hocker S, Nagarajan E, Rabinstein AA, Hanson D, Britton JW

JAMA Neurol 2016; 73:1201-1207



To document and quantify the development of atrophy over time in super-refractory status epilepticus (SRSE).


This retrospective medical record review included all patients with SRSE who were admitted to a tertiary referral campus of the Mayo Clinic Hospital with SRSE from January 1, 2001, to December 31, 2013. Patients with (1) an initial MRI scan performed within 2 weeks of SRSE onset, (2) a second MRI scan within 6 months of SRSE resolution, and (3) a minimum duration of 1 week between MRI scans were included. The ventricular brain ratio (VBR) was measured on T2-weighted fluid-attenuated inversion recovery (FLAIR) images at disease onset and during follow-up. Measurements were performed on axial FLAIR images with section thickness of less than 5 mm. The plane immediately superior to the caudate head was chosen for analysis. The hypothesis that atrophy develops during SRSE despite seizure control (electroencephalogram background suppression with anesthetic drugs) was tested. Data were analyzed from June 1 to December 31, 2015.


Nineteen patients met the inclusion criteria; these included 10 men (53%) and 9 women (47%) with a median age of 41 (interquartile range [IQR], 25-68) years. Anesthetic agents were required for a median of 13 (IQR, 5-37) days. Initial MRI was performed a median of 2 (IQR, 1-7.5) days from the onset of SRSE, and the second MRI was performed a median of 11 (IQR, 5-15.5) days from the resolution of SRSE, with a median of 40 (IQR, 15-65) days between MRI scans. Median ΔVBR was 23.3% (IQR, 10.5%-70.3%). A significant correlation between the duration of anesthetic agent use and ΔVBR was found (Spearman r = 0.54; P = .02).


Atrophy developed in all patients with super refractory status epilepticus (SRSE) who underwent serial imaging, despite administration of agents for seizure control. The degree of atrophy appears to be related to the duration of SRSE

This reference is now included in the

NeurochecklistSuper refractory status epilepticus

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By Internet Archive Book Images book page:, No restrictions, Link



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