Cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) findings in 138 of 217 patients with status epilepticus (SE) seen by the Neurology Service in a 3-year period are reported from the Columbia-Prebyterian Medical Center, New York, NY. Pleocytosis, defined as a WBC count of 6xl06/L or greater or one or more polymorphonuclear leukocytes, was found in 31 (22%) with SE. Those with generalized myoclonic SE and a history of acute CNS infection or trauma were most likely to have pleocytosis. Of 40 patients with epilepsy and no acute brain insult, 4 (10%) had abnormal CSF counts associated with a generalized SE. 
COMMENT. The authors caution that pleocytosis should not be attributed to SE unless all other causes have been ruled out.