Fever and fever-related epilepsies

Epilepsia. 2012 Sep;53 Suppl 4:3-8. doi: 10.1111/j.1528-1167.2012.03608.x.


Febrile seizures are a common emergency faced by general pediatricians. They are mostly self-limiting, isolated events with no sequelae in later life. A minority are more complex. In the acute stage, there are a small number of underlying etiologies that are important to recognize in order to determine the prognosis accurately and to optimize management. There has been a long-standing debate about the relationship of early febrile seizures to the later development of epilepsy. It is now clear that this risk differs for simple and complex febrile seizures: complex febrile seizures may herald the presentation of a number of epilepsy syndromes of which febrile and illness-related seizures are part of the phenotype. This review examines the existing knowledge on febrile seizures and the various clinical phenotypes to which they are linked.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Child
  • Epilepsy / etiology*
  • Epilepsy / physiopathology
  • Epilepsy, Temporal Lobe / physiopathology
  • Fever / complications*
  • Fever / physiopathology
  • Humans
  • Meningitis / complications
  • Risk Factors
  • Seizures, Febrile / etiology
  • Seizures, Febrile / physiopathology*