The records of 394 children aged 1 month to 16 years with status epilepticus (SE) were reviewed at the Montefiore Medical Center, Bronx, NY, and Medical College of Virginia, Richmond, VA. The mean age of onset was 4 years, and more than half the cases occurred under 3 years. Causes were age-dependent. Febrile or acute symptomatic SE occurred at less than 2 years, whereas cryptogenic and remote symptomatic cases were common in older children. Prior neurologic abnormalities were noted in 40% (21% of younger and 55% of those older than 2 years), and a history of previous seizures in 45%. The prevalence of previous seizures was significantly higher in older children; 64% in those older than 2 years and 20% in children less than 2 years. 
COMMENT. Young children are particularly susceptible to status epilepticus, primarily those without neurologic abnormalities and with no previous unprovoked seizures. Older children with SE have a history of prior cryptogenic seizures, but are more frequently neurologically impaired.