What is subtle status epilepticus (SE)?

Updated: Feb 13, 2018
  • Author: Julie L Roth, MD; Chief Editor: Stephen A Berman, MD, PhD, MBA  more...
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Subtle SE consists of electrical seizure activity in the brain that endures when the associated motor responses are fragmentary or even absent.

The terminology is confusing, since subtle SE is sometimes designated a type of nonconvulsive SE (NCSE). Although subtle SE is, by definition, nonconvulsive, it should be distinguished from other NCSE. Subtle SE is considered the most severe clinical stage of generalized convulsive SE and patients with subtle SE, in contrast to that of those with NCSE, have a dismal prognosis.

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