Aphasic status epilepticus (ASE), although rare, may often remain underdiagnosed. We aimed to report the patients diagnosed with ASE and describe their clinical presentation, etiology, electrophysiological findings, neuroimaging, treatment options, and outcome.
We retrospectively analyzed a series of 28 patients diagnosed with ASE between January 2010 and August 2019 in our tertiary referral center. We reviewed medical files, patient charts, and short- and long-term intermittent electroencephalogram (EEG) recordings. Demographical, historical, clinical, neuroimaging, electrophysiological parameters, administered antiseizure medications, and prognosis of all patients were recorded. Furthermore, EEGs were re-evaluated according to Salzburg criteria.
Most patients presented with tumors (n = 11) and cerebrovascular disease (CVD) (n = 11), while the rest were diagnosed with hyperglycemia (n = 2), autoimmune encephalitis (n = 1), remote intracranial abscess (n = 1), mitochondrial encephalomyopathy with lactic acidosis and stroke-like episodes (MELAS) attack (n = 1), or unknown cause (n = 1). Seventy-one percent of patients had prior history of epilepsy. The most common EEG findings were rhythmic delta activity with fluctuation and epileptiform discharges ≤ 2.5 Hz with spatiotemporal evolution (66 %). Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and EEG findings indicated dominant hemisphere involvement in all patients. No casualties occurred; 71 % patients exhibited total recovery, while 29 % had mild-moderate sequela aphasia. None of the patients received aggressive treatment for ASE.
A relatively higher number of ASE patients could be contributed to the literature through this study. ASE should be considered in patients with prolonged unexplained aphasia, especially with pre-existing risk factors, such as prior history of epilepsy, structural lesion, and metabolic disorders accompanied by concordant EEG findings. Although the underlying cause is a determining prognostic factor, this study shows a significant number of patients with complete remission; thus, the prognosis of ASE may be considered more favorable than other types of nonconvulsive status epilepticus.
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