Clinical implications of status epilepticus in patients with neoplasms

Robert Cavaliere, Elana Farace, David Schiff

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

48 Scopus citations


Objectives: To elucidate factors that contribute to the development of status epilepticus (SE) and determine prognostic factors and the impact on 30-day survival. Design: Retrospective review of medical records. Setting: University of Virginia Health System. Patients: Thirty-five patients with SE secondary to a tumor, either primary or systemic, or its treatment. Main Outcome Measures: Seizure control, 30-day mortality, and overall survival. Results: Status epilepticus most commonly occurred at tumor presentation or progression and was controlled in all cases. Thirty-day mortality was 23%. Patients with systemic cancer were at higher risk of death, although they were older and had more acute comorbidities. Age, tumor type, status of tumor at time of event, history of epilepsy, and status type were not predictive of mortality. Age was associated with a higher rate of nursing home placement and shorter overall survival. Overall survival was determined by underlying tumor. Conclusions: Status epilepticus in patients with cancer is responsive to therapy. Workup of underlying causes is indicated, even in the presence of subtherapeutic antiepileptic drug levels, because coexistent conditions contributing to the development of SE may be present. In those with known cancer, brain imaging should be performed because SE usually occurs in the setting of tumor progression or new metastases.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1746-1749
Number of pages4
JournalArchives of Neurology
Issue number12
StatePublished - Dec 2006

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
  • Clinical Neurology


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