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Zinc concentration in serum and cerebrospinal fluid simultaneously decrease in children with febrile seizure: Findings from a prospective study in Bangladesh


Kazi Selim Anwar, Department of Microbiology, Institute of Public Health, Dhaka 1212, Bangladesh. Tel: +96 664431311 | Fax: +96 664431122 | Email:, or M Abid Hossain Mollah, Email:


Objective: Since the underlying mechanisms of febrile seizure (FS) having multi-factorial aetiology yet remains unclear, we conducted this prospectively designed cross-sectional study to determine if there was any simultaneous change in zinc (Zn) concentration (conc.) in serum and cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) among the FS children in comparison to their matched non-seizure febrile (NSF) peers.

Methods: Zn concentration (level) in both serum (intravenous blood) and CSF (lumber puncture: LP) of 50 children with FS and 30 NSF peers (serving as control) were measured employing graphite furnace atomic absorbance spectrophotometer. Data were analysed to compare Zn level between two groups using appropriate statistical tools employing SPSS/Windows 12.0.

Results: Mean Zn conc. in both serum and CSF was less in FS children (464.60 ± 64.57 and 46.28 ± 7.46, respectively) than their matched NSF peers (749.33 ± 73.19 μg/L and 111.28 ± 19.11 μg/L, respectively) showing significant differences both in serum (p < 0.001) and CSF (p < 0.001). None of serum or CSF-Zn differed significantly with age, degree and duration of fever between FS and NSF peers. CSF-Zn among these children showed an upward trend in LP specimen taken beyond 12 h following FS episodes.

Conclusion and recommendation: Serum and CSF-Zn simultaneously decreased in FS children in comparison to their matched NSF peers. Further prospectively designed multicentral studies are recommended to conduct in geographically diverse regions involving larger sample to confirm or refute our findings. It remains crucial in standardizing/strengthening national seizure prevention protocol with adequate Zn supplementation.