Ictal asystole: a diagnostic and management conundrum.

08:00 EDT 1st June 2019 | BioPortfolio

Summary of "Ictal asystole: a diagnostic and management conundrum."

We report two cases of adults presenting with transient loss of consciousness (TLoC) followed by a rapid recovery. Careful history taking revealed a stereotyped prodrome of déjà vu, raising the possibility of these events being focal seizures rather than syncope. The patients were commenced on antiepileptic drugs (AEDs) at the same time as having cardiac monitoring organised. This confirmed asystole during the seizure symptoms, resulting in TLoC. It was assumed that the cardiac arrhythmia explained the entire picture, a permanent pacemaker (PPM) was inserted, and the AEDs were withdrawn in one patient and not commenced in the other. However, they both subsequently presented with worsening seizures, including generalised tonic-clonic seizures, despite a functioning pacemaker. The seizures improved on restarting AEDs. The cases illustrate the diagnostic and management difficulties of patients presenting with ictal asystole, a condition that requires input from various medical specialities. There is no strong evidence base for the management of ictal asystole, but we favour a combined approach of AEDs and PPM insertion.


Journal Details

This article was published in the following journal.

Name: The journal of the Royal College of Physicians of Edinburgh
ISSN: 2042-8189
Pages: 128-131


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