Derivation of a clinical decision instrument to identify patients with status epilepticus who require emergent brain CT.


Department of Emergency Medicine, Lewis Katz School of Medicine, 1314 West Ontario Street, Philadelphia, PA 19140, United States of America. Electronic address: [Email]


BACKGROUND : Studies have shown the value of CT brain imaging in adults with first-time seizures, but there are no recommendations regarding emergent brain CTs in persons with an established seizure disorders. Our study aimed to derive a clinical decision instrument (CDI) to determine which patients with status epilepticus (SE) require emergent brain imaging.
METHODS : This was a retrospective chart review of patients who presented to our emergency department with SE between 2010 and 2018. Patients with first-time seizures were excluded. A priori, we defined high risk criteria for emergent imaging as well as positive findings on brain CT. High risk criteria included known malignancy, trauma, and immunosuppression. Positive CT scans included findings such as intracranial hemorrhage (ICH) and mass.
RESULTS : We identified 214 patients who met inclusion criteria Of the 181 patients without high risk criteria, 3% had positive CT scans. Of the 33 patients with high risk criteria, 10% had positive CT scans. The sensitivity, specificity, PPV, and NPV for our initial CDI were 38%, 85%, 9%, and 97%. Adding the criterion of prior ICH would have lowered our miss rate to 0.6%. Modifying our CDI to 1) History of ICH, 2) Malignancy, 3) Immunosuppression, and 4) Trauma would result in a CDI with sensitivity, specificity, PPV, and NPV of 87.5%, 87.4%, 21.2%, and 99.5%.
CONCLUSIONS : By using four criteria to identify high risk patients, we can defer CT scanning in the vast majority of patients with SE and known seizure disorders. This CDI should be prospectively validated before adoption.


Medicine, emergency,Multislice computed tomography,Neurologic disorders,Status epilepticus, grand mal,

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