sudden unexplained death in epilepsy
sudden unexplained death in epilepsyA diagnosis which requires an autopsy for the death to be so labelled, which is defined as a “…sudden (in minutes to hours), unexpected (i.e., in his or her usual state of health during normal activities), witnessed or unwitnessed, non-traumatic and non-drowning death in a patient with known epilepsy, with or without evidence of seizure and excluding documented status epilepticus, in which post-mortem examination doesn’t reveal an anatomical or toxicologic cause of death.”
By definition, SUDEP is a diagnosis of exclusion and not due to any medical cause of death, respiratory disease (e.g., suffocation, asphyxia, aspiration, apnoea or respiratory failure), neurogenic pulmonary oedema, or cardiac disease (e.g., sympathetic (arrhythmias) or parasympathetic (bradycardia, asystole) activity). Post-mortem examinations in such patients is intended to exclude microscopic causes of death, e.g., myocardial fibrosis, pulmonary oedema, cerebral oedema.
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