Complex Febrile Seizures
Article first published online: 3 AUG 2005
Volume 37, Issue 2, pages 126–133, February 1996
How to Cite
Berg, A. T. and Shinnar, S. (1996), Complex Febrile Seizures. Epilepsia, 37: 126–133. doi: 10.1111/j.1528-1157.1996.tb00003.x
- Issue published online: 3 AUG 2005
- Article first published online: 3 AUG 2005
- Received August 11, 1995; revision accepted October 19, 1995.
- Complex febrile seizures;
- Febrile seizures;
- Status epilepticus
In the context of a prospective cohort study, we examined the associations between individual complex features of both first (n = 428) and recurrent (n = 240) febrile seizures and factors shown to predict outcome in children with febrile seizures. Thirty-five percent of first and 33% of recurrent febrile seizures had one or more complex features (focal onset, duration ≥10 min, or multiple seizures during the illness episode). There were strong correlations between focality and prolonged duration for both first and recurrent febrile seizures. A low fever at the time of the seizure was marginally associated with prolonged duration. Most factors associated with either recurrent febrile seizures or subsequent unprovoked seizures were not associated with either the initial seizure being complex or the likelihood that a recurrence would be complex. However, in children with recurrent febrile seizures, complex features tended to repeat. This factor was statistically significant and particularly striking for prolonged duration. Genetic or other constitutional factors may explain why the prolonged feature recurs. Eleven (2.5%) children had three or four risk factors for recurrent febrile seizures and a first febrile seizure that was prolonged. Eight (72.7%) of them experienced a recurrent febrile seizure that was prolonged. This very small group of children may be candidates for abortive therapy to be administered at the onset of a recurrent seizure.