Febrile seizures

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By Renée Shellhaas MD MS, Carol S Camfield MD, and Peter Camfield MD

Febrile seizures are also known as or subsume Complex febrile seizures. -ed.

Febrile seizures are common and have a benign outcome. The genetic basis and pathogenesis of this syndrome are under intense investigation. Evidence-based guidelines suggest minimal investigations are needed for diagnosis, and most children require neither intermittent nor long-term treatment. Dr. Shellhaas' updates for 2013 include summaries from the results of the multicenter study on the consequences of febrile status epilepticus (FEBSTAT).

Key Points

  • Febrile seizures are the most common seizure type, affecting 3% to 4% of all children.
  • Although many affected children have recurrent febrile seizures, the risk of subsequent epilepsy is very small.
  • The American Academy of Pediatrics offers guidelines for the evaluation and management of children with febrile seizures.

In This Article

Historical note and nomenclature
Clinical manifestations
Pathogenesis and pathophysiology
Differential diagnosis
Diagnostic workup
Prognosis and complications
References cited