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OBJECTIVE: To quantify the association between early neurologic recovery, practice pattern variation, and endotracheal intubation during established status epilepticus, we performed a secondary analysis within the cohort of patients enrolled in the Established Status Epilepticus Treatment Trial (ESETT).

METHODS: We evaluated factors associated with the endpoint of endotracheal intubation occurring within 120 minutes of ESETT study drug initiation. We defined a blocked, stepwise multivariate regression, examining 4 phases during status epilepticus management: (1) baseline characteristics, (2) acute treatment, (3) 20-minute neurologic recovery, and (4) 60-minute recovery, including seizure cessation and improving responsiveness.

RESULTS: Of 478 patients, 117 (24.5%) were intubated within 120 minutes. Among high-enrolling sites, intubation rates ranged from 4% to 32% at pediatric sites and 19% to 39% at adult sites. Baseline characteristics, including seizure precipitant, benzodiazepine dosing, and admission vital signs, provided limited discrimination for predicting intubation (area under the curve [AUC] 0.63). However, treatment at sites with an intubation rate in the highest (vs lowest) quartile strongly predicted endotracheal intubation independently of other treatment variables (adjusted odds ratio [aOR] 8.12, 95% confidence interval [CI] 3.08-21.4, model AUC 0.70). Site-specific variation was the factor most strongly associated with endotracheal intubation after adjustment for 20-minute (aOR 23.4, 95% CI 6.99-78.3, model AUC 0.88) and 60-minute (aOR 14.7, 95% CI 3.20-67.5, model AUC 0.98) neurologic recovery.

CONCLUSIONS: Endotracheal intubation after established status epilepticus is strongly associated with site-specific practice pattern variation, independently of baseline characteristics, and early neurologic recovery and should not alone serve as a clinical trial endpoint in established status epilepticus.


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Adolescent; Adult; Aged; Anticonvulsants; Child; Cohort Studies; Female; Humans; Intubation, Intratracheal; Male; Middle Aged; Nervous System Diseases; Recovery of Function; Risk Factors; Status Epilepticus; Young Adult

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