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1 "Katherine A Hill"
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Case Report
Neurology
Myoclonic status epilepticus after severe hyperthermia in a patient with coronavirus disease 2019
Katherine A Hill, John J Peters, Sara M Schaefer
Acute Crit Care. 2023;38(4):509-512.   Published online March 24, 2022
DOI: https://doi.org/10.4266/acc.2021.01452
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AbstractAbstract PDF
Myoclonic status epilepticus (MSE) is a sign of severe neurologic injury in cardiac arrest patients. To our knowledge, MSE has not been described as a result of prolonged hyperpyrexia. A 56-yearold man with coronavirus disease 2019 presented with acute respiratory distress syndrome, septic/hypovolemic shock, and presumed community-acquired pneumonia. Five days after presentation, he developed a sustained fever of 42.1°C that did not respond to acetaminophen or ice water gastric lavage. After several hours, he was placed on surface cooling. Three hours after fever resolution, new multifocal myoclonus was noted in the patient’s arms and trunk. Electroencephalography showed midline spikes consistent with MSE, which resolved with 40 mg/kg of levetiracetam. This case demonstrates that severe hyperthermia can cause cortical injury significant enough to trigger MSE and should be treated emergently using the most aggressive measures available. Providers should have a low threshold for electroencephalography in intubated patients with a recent history of hyperpyrexia.

ACC : Acute and Critical Care