Nonconvulsive status epilepticus (NCSE) is characterized by persistent change in mental status from baseline lasting more than 5 minutes, generally with epileptiform activity seen on EEG monitoring and subtle or no motor abnormalities. NCSE can be a difficult diagnosis to make in the emergency department setting, but the key to diagnosis is a high index of suspicion coupled with rapid initiation of continuous EEG and early involvement of neurology.
When a patient presents to the ED with new-onset altered mental status or unusual behavior without visible convulsive activity, how can you tell if it is nonconvulsive status epilepticus?
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Last Updated on December 13, 2021