Hypothermia for pediatric refractory status epilepticus

Kristin Guilliams, Max Rosen, Sandra Buttram, John Zempel, Jose Pineda, Barbara Miller, Michael Shoykhet

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

51 Scopus citations


Purpose Refractory status epilepticus (RSE) is a life-threatening emergency, demonstrating, by definition, significant pharmacoresistance. We describe five cases of pediatric RSE treated with mild hypothermia. Methods Retrospective chart review was performed of records of children who received hypothermia for RSE at two tertiary-care pediatric hospitals between 2009 and 2012. Key Findings Five children with RSE received mild hypothermia (32-35°C). Hypothermia reduced seizure burden during and after treatment in all cases. Prior to initiation of hypothermia, four children (80%) received pentobarbital infusions to treat RSE, but relapsed after pentobarbital discontinuation. No child relapsed after treatment with hypothermia. One child died after redirection of care. Remaining four children were discharged. Significance This is the largest pediatric case series reporting treatment of RSE with mild hypothermia. Hypothermia decreased seizure burden during and after pediatric RSE and may prevent RSE relapse.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1586-1594
Number of pages9
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 2013


  • Children
  • Cooling
  • Pharmacoresistance
  • Seizures


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