May 31, 2023

Research Identifies 4 Predictors of Epilepsy in Children With Complex Febrile Seizures 

Article published by AJMC


Four predictors of future epilepsy in children with complex febrile seizures (CFS) have been identified in new research published in Journal of Child Neurology. 

These include experiencing more than 3 febrile seizures in 24 hours, interictal epileptiform discharges during post-CFS electroencephalogram (EEG), family history of afebrile seizures, and CFS onset at age 3 or later. Combined, having all 4 risk factors can raise the risk of epilepsy to over 75%, authors said. 

“Early identification of children who will develop epilepsy after a CFS is essential to future management and counseling for parents/caregivers,” the researchers wrote. 

Febrile seizures are the most common seizures in children and typically occur between ages 6 months and 5 years. The seizures can be characterized as simple or complex. 

A CFS in children has at least 1 of the following features: focal onset or a seizure followed by a focal neurologic deficit, duration of 15?minutes or longer, or seizure recurrence during the same 24?hours, authors wrote. Although they can be stressful for parents, the seizures carry low risk for children. 

Around 2% to 20% of children with febrile seizures go on to develop epilepsy. This risk tends to be heightened in those with a history of CFS. However, different results regarding the prognostic value of EEG after CFS exist, while practices employ varied recommendations on EEG attainment.