Fast Acute Sedation at Intensive Care vs. High-dose i.v. Anti-seizure Medication for Treatment of Non-convulsive Status Epilepticus (FAST-trial)


University of Southern Denmark

Status and phase

Phase 3


Non-Convulsive Status Epilepticus


Drug: Rapid sedation

Study type


Funder types



2021-003392-34 (EudraCT Number)

Details and patient eligibility


This open-label, randomized multicenter trial aims at clarifying the standard of care of patients with non-convulsive status epilepticus not responding to treatment with benzodiazepines and at least one high-dose intra venous anti-seizure medication.

Full description

Persistent epileptic seizures, aka. status epilepticus (SE), are the second most common neurological cause of acute admissions. Around halv of the patients suffers from SE without prominent visible seizures ("convulsions"), which is referred to as non-convulsive status epilepticus (NCSE) and is afflicted with a long-term mortality of >50% also in patients without concomittant acute brain disease. There are no evidence-based treatment guidelines for NCSE but patients usually receive treatment with benzodiazepines followed by i.v. anti-seizure medication. If seizures continues, further treatment is controversial. The participating centers have long-standing experience in treating NCSE but use different, internationally accepted treatment strategies. Some initiate aggressive treatment with fast sedation at intensive care aiming at immediate seizure control, other estimate that the side effects of sediation does not outweigh the potential benefit and try high-dose i.v. anti-seizure medication that only slightly impair conciousness - often with success. This randomized, open label, multicenter trial (Eudract 2021-003392-34) aims at clarifying the treatment of patients with NSCE not responding to standard therapy. Patients with verified NCSE based on clinical parameter or using electroencephalography (EEG) are randomized into a fast acute sedation group and a group that receives at least one additional, high-dose anti-seizure mediciation. Primary objective endpoint is treatment failure 24 h after randomization as determined by EEG. Secondary endpoints are e.g. seizure-induced neurological damage, treatment-related complications and neurological long-term outcome. The statistical planing aims at showing superiority of aggressive treatment, 140 patients shall be included in a three years period at the University Hospitals in Aarhus, Odense, Roskilde and Copenhagen.


140 estimated patients




18 to 120 years old


No Healthy Volunteers

Inclusion criteria

Adult patients (older than 18 years) with EEG-verified NCSE, according to the Salzburg criteria, who have not responded to appropriate treatment with benzodiazepines and at least one 2nd line i.v. anti-seizure medication according to the current Danish national neurological treatment guidelines (Levetiracetam, Fosfenytoin or Valproate).

Exclusion criteria

  • patients with epilepticus status due to acute neuroinfection (e.g. bacterial meningitis or viral encephalitis)
  • acute traumatic or spontaneous intracranial hemorrhage
  • suspicion of cerebral anoxia / hypoxia / hypoglycemia / epileptic encephalopathy
  • contraindications to anti-seizure medication defined in the protocol
  • contraindications to anesthesia treatment in intensive care
  • focal motor status epilepticus without relevant conscious influence (Glasgow Coma Scale> 13)
  • known epileptic encephalopathy
  • Clinical need for acute intubation

Trial design

140 participants in 2 patient groups

"Non-sedative medical treatment"
No Intervention group
The patient is treated with an additional high-dose intravenous antiepileptic drug, which is selected by the treating neurologist. If NCSE continues to be detected at cEEG or clinically> 3 hours after starting treatment, the patient should receive standard treatment (i.e. sedation in the intensive care unit or addition of additional intravenous antiepileptic drugs) in accordance with local guidelines and the assessment of the treating neurologist. The following preparations are permitted as additional treatment: Levetiracetam (60 mg / kg as saturation dose followed by maintenance dose of 2-4 g / day), valproate (60 mg / kg as saturation dose followed by maintenance dose of 20 mg / kg / day), phosphenytoin (20 PE as saturation dose followed by maintenance dose 5 mg PE / kg / day), lacosamide (400 mg as a saturation dose followed by a maintenance dose of 200-400 mg / day), topiramate (200-400 mg per probe as a saturation dose followed by a maintenance dose of 200-400 mg / day).
Fast sedation
Experimental group
Within a maximum of 60 minutes after the diagnosis of NCSE (EEG or clinical), the patient must be sedated with high-dose Propofol (bolus 3-5 g / kg, maintenance dose 5-10 mg / kg / hour) to - 5 on the Richmond agitation sedation scale (RASS) for 20 hours, and a single anti-epileptic drug should be added as adjunctive therapy. Addition of low-dose Midazolam (max. 0.1 mg / kg / h) is permitted if deep sedation (defined clinically by RASS -5) is not possible with Propofol alone. After 20 hours, the sedation should be completely phased out within 3 hours.
Drug: Rapid sedation

Trial contacts and locations



Central trial contact

Christoph P. Beier, M.D.

Data sourced from

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