BackgroundNonconvulsive status epilepticus (NCSE) is associated with a poor outcome and is furthermore adiagnostic challenge in routine clinical work.ObjectiveSeveral sets of diagnostic criteria exist. What is the difference between them and which ones have been evaluated? Which concept can be recommended in the light of current knowledge?Material and methodsAsurvey on the current literature is provided and astructured approach for diagnosing NCSE is given.ResultsOnly one study on evaluation of the diagnostic criteria for NCSE exists, i.e. the Salzburg criteria for NCSE, which were investigated retrospectively in amulticenter study. The diagnosis of NCSE is based on clinical and EEG data. The additional implementation of paraclinical information, such as cerebral imaging, emergency and toxicology laboratories is mandatory.ConclusionCurrently available criteria enable efficient and effective management of the majority of patients suspected of having NCSE; however, in individual cases it has to be taken into consideration that the criteria can be falsely positive or falsely negative.
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