Febrile seizures: an epidemiological and outcome study of 482 cases

Childs Nerv Syst. 2012 Oct;28(10):1779-84. doi: 10.1007/s00381-012-1789-6. Epub 2012 May 9.


Introduction: Febrile seizures (FSs) are the most common type of seizures seen in children. After the first FS, 3 to 12% of children develop epilepsy, and 30% of these patients present with recurrent FS. The purpose of this study was to describe the epidemiological aspects of FS in order to better define the long-term outcomes in children with first FS and to identify the risk factors associated with the recurrence of FS as well as the development of epilepsy.

Methods: A retrospective study of 482 children with FS was conducted from January of 2004 to December of 2009 in the pediatric department of Hedi Chaker University Hospital in Sfax, Tunisia. The medical records for each patient were first collected and then analyzed at a later time.

Results: The study included 482 children. Simple FSs were found in 55.2% of children, and complex FSs were observed in 44.8%. The mean duration for follow-up examinations was 2 years and 4 months, and ranged from 1 to 5 years. No deaths or permanent neurological deficits due to FSs were observed, and only six children (1%) developed epilepsy. A total of 57 children (11.7%) developed recurrent seizures. Our findings suggest that a family history of FS, young age at onset, and a low degree of fever were predictive of recurrent FSs.

Conclusion: Children with FSs encounter a minor risk of mortality and morbidity. While recurrent seizures are observed in these children, only a minority of these patients develop epilepsy.

MeSH terms

  • Age Factors
  • Anticonvulsants / therapeutic use
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Longitudinal Studies
  • Male
  • Predictive Value of Tests
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Seizures, Febrile / drug therapy
  • Seizures, Febrile / epidemiology*


  • Anticonvulsants