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Revista Brasileira de Anestesiologia

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MARANHAO, Marcius Vinícius Mulatinho; GOMES, Eni Araújo  and  CARVALHO, Priscila Evaristo de. Epilepsy and anesthesia. Rev. Bras. Anestesiol. [online]. 2011, vol.61, n.2, pp.242-254. ISSN 0034-7094.

BACKGROUND AND OBJECTIVES: Epilepsy is one of the most frequent chronic neurological diseases. Although anesthesia for epilepsy patients is more common in neurosurgery, this group of patients needs, just as the general population, anesthesia for different diagnostic and therapeutic procedures. This article aims to address the issues of greatest interest to the anesthesiologist in the perioperative management of epileptic patients undergoing anesthesia for non-neurosurgical procedures. CONTENT: We discuss relevant aspects of pathophysiology, classification and diagnosis of epilepsy; anticonvulsant therapy and interactions with anesthetic drugs; surgery and the ketogenic diet; pro-and anticonvulsant effects of drugs used in anesthesia; preoperative evaluation, intra- and postoperative conduct in epileptic patients, as well as the diagnosis and treatment of perioperative seizures. CONCLUSIONS: In the perioperative management of epileptic patients is important for anesthesiologists to identify the type of epilepsy, the frequency, severity and the factors triggering the epileptogenic crises; the use of anticonvulsant drugs and possible interactions with drugs used in anesthesia; the presence of ketogenic diet and stimulatory of the vagus nerve, and its implications in anesthetic techniques. It is essential the understanding of pro- and anticonvulsant properties of drugs used in anesthesia, minimizing the risk of seizure activity in the intra- and postoperative. Finally, it is important to outline the diagnosis and initiate treatment of seizures, perioperative, which offers lower both morbidity and mortality.

Keywords : Epilepsy; Anesthesia; Perioperative care; Seizures.

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