Scientific article
Open access

Early timing of anesthesia in status epilepticus is associated with complete recovery : A 7‐year retrospective two‐center study

Published inEpilepsia, vol. 64, no. 6, p. 1493-1506
Publication date2023-04-25
First online date2023-04-25


This study was undertaken to investigate the efficacy, tolerability, and outcome of different timing of anesthesia in adult patients with status epilepticus (SE).


Patients with anesthesia for SE from 2015 to 2021 at two Swiss academic medical centers were categorized as anesthetized as recommended third‐line treatment, earlier (as first‐ or second‐line treatment), and delayed (later as third‐line treatment). Associations between timing of anesthesia and in‐hospital outcomes were estimated by logistic regression.


Of 762 patients, 246 received anesthesia; 21% were anesthetized as recommended, 55% earlier, and 24% delayed. Propofol was preferably used for earlier (86% vs. 55.5% for recommended/delayed anesthesia) and midazolam for later anesthesia (17.2% vs. 15.9% for earlier anesthesia). Earlier anesthesia was statistically significantly associated with fewer infections (17% vs. 32.7%), shorter median SE duration (.5 vs. 1.5 days), and more returns to premorbid neurologic function (52.9% vs. 35.5%). Multivariable analyses revealed decreasing odds for return to premorbid function with every additional nonanesthetic antiseizure medication given prior to anesthesia (odds ratio [OR] = .71, 95% confidence interval [CI] = .53–.94) independent of confounders. Subgroup analyses revealed decreased odds for return to premorbid function with increasing delay of anesthesia independent of the Status Epilepticus Severity Score (STESS; STESS = 1‐2: OR = .45, 95% CI = .27–.74; STESS > 2: OR = .53, 95% CI = .34–.85), especially in patients without potentially fatal etiology (OR = .5, 95% CI = .35–.73) and in patients experiencing motor symptoms (OR = .67, 95% CI = .48–.93).


In this SE cohort, anesthetics were administered as recommended third‐line therapy in only every fifth patient and earlier in every second. Increasing delay of anesthesia was associated with decreased odds for return to premorbid function, especially in patients with motor symptoms and no potentially fatal etiology.

  • Anesthesia
  • Intensive care
  • Neurocritical care
  • Recovery
  • Status epilepticus
Citation (ISO format)
DE STEFANO, Pia et al. Early timing of anesthesia in status epilepticus is associated with complete recovery : A 7‐year retrospective two‐center study. In: Epilepsia, 2023, vol. 64, n° 6, p. 1493–1506. doi: 10.1111/epi.17614
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ISSN of the journal0013-9580

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