Previous studies have examined the association of a single nucleotide polymorphism at the promoter region of interleukin 1B (IL-1 beta-511T) with temporal lobe epilepsy and febrile seizures susceptibility, but those studies have been inconclusive. Published studies up to March 2007 of temporal lobe epilepsy, febrile seizures and the IL-1 beta-511T single nucleotide polymorphism were identified by searches of Medline and Embase databases. Meta-analysis of temporal lobe epilepsy and febrile seizures case-control data were performed to assess the association of IL-1 beta-511T with temporal lobe epilepsy, temporal lobe epilepsy with hippocampal sclerosis, febrile seizures, and other epileptic disorders. Pooled odds ratios (OR) were estimated by means of a genetic-model-free approach. The quality of the included studies was assessed by a score. The results show a modest association (OR, 1.48; 95% confidence interval, 1.09-2.00; P = 0.01) between the IL-1 beta-511T polymorphism and temporal lobe epilepsy with hippocampal sclerosis.