Risk of seizure clusters and status epilepticus following rapid and ultra-rapid medication discontinuation during intracranial EEG monitoring

Kalyan Malgireddy, Navnika Gupta, Hae Young Baang, Kaeli K. Samson, Deepak Madhavan, Mark Puccioni, Olga Taraschenko

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objective: Anti-seizure medications (ASMs) are discontinued in the course of intracranial EEG (iEEG) monitoring for presurgical evaluation. The ASM withdrawal facilitates an emergence of seizures but may also precipitate seizure clusters (SC) and status epilepticus (SE). The aim of this study was to compare the rates of SC and SE during the ultra-rapid withdrawal (URW) and rapid withdrawal (RW) of ASMs during iEEG. Methods: We performed a retrospective observational study of all consecutive patients with drug resistant epilepsy who completed iEEG at our comprehensive epilepsy center from 2012-2018. SC was defined as three or more seizures in 24 h with a return to baseline between the events. SE was defined as ≥ 5 min of clinical seizure or ≥ 10 min of ictal electrographic activity or series of seizures with no return to the neurological baseline between the events. Results: Of 107 patients who completed iEEG with intracranial grid or strip electrodes, 46 (43%) were male. Median age at the time of iEEG was 35.4 years (interquartile range [IQR], 26.4 - 44.9). Ninety patients (84.1%) had all AEDs held on admission, while 16 patients (15%) underwent a rapid taper. The median time to first seizure was 15.1 (8.2 - 22.6) h. Sixty-two patients (57.9%) developed SC, while 10 (9.4%) developed SE. Twenty-six patients (36.1%) with these complications required intravenous lorazepam or other rescue ASMs, while the remaining patients had spontaneous resolution of seizures; intubations were not required. While there were differences in the proportions in patients who experienced SC, SE, or neither in the URW and RW groups, these differences were not significant at the 0.05 alpha level. Significance: Ultra-rapid and rapid ASM withdrawal are accompanied by SC and SE the majority of which terminate spontaneously. These data support the use of either approach of the medication taper for seizure provocation in iEEG.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number106756
JournalEpilepsy Research
StatePublished - Nov 2021


  • anti-seizure medication withdrawal
  • epilepsy monitoring unit
  • intracranial EEG
  • invasive EEG monitoring
  • seizure clusters
  • status epilepticus

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neurology
  • Clinical Neurology


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