Ketogenic diet (KD) therapy in the acute phase of febrile infection-related epilepsy syndrome (FIRES): a case report

Transl Pediatr. 2021 Sep;10(9):2392-2397. doi: 10.21037/tp-21-121.


Management of frequent epileptic seizures in febrile infection-related epilepsy (FIRES) is often challenging. FIRES is an uncommon disease condition. Children with FIRES develop refractory epilepsy with severe cognitive deficits that affect the function of the temporal and frontal lobes. However, better seizure control during the acute stage of FIRES could protect against injury to the nervous system. Ketogenic diet (KD) can effectively resolve super-refractory status epilepticus (SRSE) in the acute phase and improve the prognosis of FIRES. We present the case of a previously healthy 3-year-old male with new-onset status epilepticus (SE) admitted to the paediatric intensive care unit for 55 days. Despite treatment with multiple anti-epileptic agents in addition to IV anaesthetics, the patient remained in SRSE and continued to have generalised epileptic activity on electroencephalography (EEG). KD therapy was initiated on the 14th day of the onset, and the patient achieved complete neurological recovery following the KD. Throughout the remainder of admission, the patient was successfully weaned off the ventilator, tolerated oral meals, and worked with occupational and physical therapists to return to his baseline functional status. The convulsions were well controlled after discharge. We discuss the treatment strategies for FIRES and highlight the role of KD therapy in the acute phase to control disease progression and improve the prognosis, and early diagnosis of FIRES and early initiation of KD therapy combined with anti-epileptic drugs (AEDs) could improve the prognosis.

Keywords: Febrile infection-related epilepsy syndrome (FIRES); acute phase; case report; ketogenic diet (KD); status epilepticus (SE).

Publication types

  • Case Reports