Ketamine for refractory status epilepticus: A case of possible ketamine-induced neurotoxicity

Eroboghene E. Ubogu, Stephen M. Sagar, Alan J. Lerner, Brian N. Maddux, José I. Suarez, Mary Ann Werz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

87 Scopus citations


A 44-year-old man with treated neurosyphilis presented with subclinical status epilepticus (SE) refractory to intravenous high-dose lorazepam, phenytoin, and valproic acid over 4 days. Ketamine infusion was instituted after low-dose propofol sedation with gradual control of electrographic seizures over 72 h. Reevaluation 3 months later revealed diffuse cerebellar and worsened cerebral atrophy, consistent with animal models of N-methyl-D-aspartate antagonist-mediated neurotoxicity. Animal studies of prolonged ketamine therapy are required before widespread human use in SE.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)70-75
Number of pages6
JournalEpilepsy and Behavior
Issue number1
StatePublished - Feb 2003
Externally publishedYes


  • Cerebellar dysfunction
  • Dementia
  • Ketamine
  • N-Methyl-D-Aspartate receptor antagonist
  • Neurotoxicity
  • Status epilepticus

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neurology
  • Clinical Neurology
  • Behavioral Neuroscience


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