Classification Complications
Cardiac Hypertension, tachycardia (reversing after 30 minutes),
arrhythmias, cardiac arrest
Pulmonary Apnea, respiratory failure, hypoxia, neurogenic pulmonary
edema, aspiration pneumonia
Autonomic Fever, sweating, hypersecretion (including tracheobronchial),
Metabolic Hyperkalemia, hyperglycemia then hypoglycemia, volume depletion,
venous stasis, possible thrombosis
Endocrine Increased prolactin and cortisol
Other Leukocytosis, cerebrospinal fluid pleocytosis, vertebral
and other fractures, physical injury, rhabdomyolysis, renal failure,
disseminated intravascular coagulation
Cerebral Neuronal damage similar to that of hypoxia, hyperthermia:
cortical layers 3 and 5, cerebellum, and hippocampus
Cerebral edema, raised intracranial pressure
Cortical vein thrombosis
Neurologic sequelae Increased seizure frequency, recurrent status epilepticus
Decreased cognitive function (controversial)
Drug effects, increased exposure to anticonvulsants

Adapted from: Drislane FW. Status epilepticus. In: Schachter SC, Schomer DL, eds. The comprehensive evaluation and treatment of epilepsy. San Diego, CA: Academic Press; 1997. p. 149-172. With permission from Elsevier (

Authored By: 
Frank W. Drislane MD
Reviewed By: 
Thaddeus Walczak MD
Thursday, January 1, 2004