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June 2015

Status Epilepticus: Redefined or Increasingly Detected?

Author Affiliations
  • 1The Neurological Institute, Division of Epilepsy, Columbia University Medical Center, New York, New York
  • 2Division of Neurocritical Care, Columbia University Medical Center, New York, New York
JAMA Neurol. 2015;72(6):631-633. doi:10.1001/jamaneurol.2015.0204

There are not many epidemiological studies regarding status epilepticus in the United States, especially in recent years. Much of the available data on status epilepticus are 10 to 15 years old and derived from small population–based observational studies, before the availability of electronic coding from a large number of centers, thus limiting the generalizability of the results.1-4 The study by Betjemann et al5 in this issue of JAMA Neurology, using large administrative databases, shows that both diagnosis of and association of mortality with status epilepticus has increased over the past 10 years, specifically in intubated patients for whom status epilepticus was not the principal diagnosis. Thus, it raises questions about why there is an increase in the number of patients receiving a diagnosis of status epilepticus and in status epilepticus–related mortality, how we define status epilepticus, and how this affects hospital outcomes and the allocation of health care resources.

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