The role of EEG in febrile status epilepticus (FSE)

Nordli, D. R.; Moshe, S. L.; Shinnar, S.

Brain Dev. 2009 Oct 30; 32(1):37-41


Febrile status epilepticus is an important neurological emergency and a risk factor for later development of epilepsy. There are guidelines recommending against the use of EEG in the evaluation of simple febrile seizures but the role in febrile status epilepticus is not well established. This article reviews the literature on the role of EEG in the evaluation of the patient with prolonged febrile seizures, summarizes the findings, and concludes with some simple recommendations based upon the existing knowledge. At least 30-40% of EEGs obtained within one week of febrile status epilepticus will contain abnormalities including focal slowing. In some series focal slowing appears to be associated with development of a spike focus in the same location. Prospective series with large numbers of patients and follow-up are required to ascertain whether such abnormalities are associated with later development of epilepsy.

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