As part of a study of status epilepticus in children (Maytal J, Shinnar S, Moshe SL, Alvarez LA. Pediatrics. 1989;83:323-331); 44 children with febrile convulsions lasting more than 30 minutes were followed for a mean of 28 months (range 4 to 72). Thirty children were followed prospectively. Children with prior afebrile seizures or evidence of acute central nervous system infection were excluded. Nine (20%) children had prior neurological deficits. The duration of the febrile seizure was 0.5 to 1 hour in 41 cases (85%), 1 to 2 hours in 5 (10%), and greater than 2 hours in 2 children (5%). No child died or developed new neurological deficits following the seizures. The risk of recurrent seizures was increased, but only in the group with prior neurological abnormality. Six (66%) of these children had subsequent febrile seizures compared with 12 (34%) of the normal children (P = .08). Three (33%) had recurrent febrile status epilepticus compared with only 1 (3%) normal child (P = .023). The 2 children in the prospective arm of the study with recurrent febrile status epilepticus were both neurologically abnormal (P = .035). All 3 of the children who subsequently had afebrile seizures (2 prospective) were neurologically abnormal (P = .006 overall, P = .035 for prospective only). It is concluded that the occurrence of febrile status epilepticus in a neurologically impaired child is a risk factor for subsequent febrile as well as afebrile seizures. The occurrence of febrile status epilepticus in an otherwise normal child does not significantly increase the risk for subsequent febrile (brief or prolonged) or afebrile seizures in the first few years following the episode.
- Received November 27, 1989.
- Accepted March 30, 1990.
- Copyright © 1990 by the American Academy of Pediatrics