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Febrile Seizures

Background

Febrile seizures are the most common type of seizures observed in the pediatric age group.

Although described by the ancient Greeks, it was not until this century that febrile seizures were recognized as a distinct syndrome separate from epilepsy. In 1980, a consensus conference held by the National Institutes of Health described a febrile seizure as, “An event in infancy or childhood usually occurring between three months and five years of age, associated with fever, but without evidence of intracranial infection or defined cause.”
It does not exclude children with prior neurological impairment and neither provides specific temperature criteria nor defines a “seizure.” Another definition from the International League Against Epilepsy (ILAE) is “a seizure occurring in childhood after 1 month of age associated with a febrile illness not caused by an infection of the central nervous system (CNS), without previous neonatal seizures or a previous unprovoked seizure, and not meeting the criteria for other acute symptomatic seizures.”

For other information, see Medscape’s Pediatrics Specialty page.

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