Therapeutic Success of the Ketogenic Diet as a Treatment Option for Epilepsy: a Meta-analysis

Iran J Pediatr. 2013 Dec;23(6):613-20.


Objective: To systematically evaluate therapeutic success of the ketogenic diet (KD) as a treatment option for epilepsy.

Methods: Using MEDLINE and Google Scholar search, we searched for studies investigating the therapeutic success of ketogenic diet for epilepsy. We estimated therapeutic success rate for ketogenic diet as a treatment option for epilepsy and its 95% CIs using generic inverse variance method.

Findings: A total of 38 studies met the inclusion criteria. In retrospective studies, the weighted success rate of the patients who take the KD as a treatment option for epilepsy was 58.4% (95% confidence interval (95%CI)=48.7% - 69.9%) at 3 months (n=336); 42.8% (95%CI =36.3% - 50.3%) at 6 months (n=492), and 30.1% (95%CI =24.3% - 37.2%) at 12 months (n=387); in prospective studies, weighted success rate was 53.9% (95%CI 45.5% - 63.8%) at 3 months (n=474); 53.2% (95%CI =44.0% - 64.2%) at 6 months (n=321), and 55.0% (95%CI =45.9% - 65.9%) at 12 months (n=347).

Conclusion: This meta-analysis provides formal statistical support for the efficacy of the ketogenic diet in the treatment of epileptic patients.

Keywords: Children; Epilepsy; Ketogenic Diet; Meta-Analysis.

Publication types

  • Review