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Neurology. 1999 Jan 1;52(1):132-6.

Hippocampal atrophy, epilepsy duration, and febrile seizures in patients with partial seizures.

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  • 1Clinical Epilepsy Section, Epilepsy Research Branch, NINDS, NIH, Bethesda, MD 20892, USA.



Previous studies have suggested a variety of factors that may be associated with the presence of hippocampal formation (HF) atrophy in patients with complex partial seizures (CPS), including a history of complex or prolonged febrile seizures (FS), age at seizure onset, and epilepsy duration.


To determine whether epilepsy duration is related to HF atrophy.


We performed MRIs on 35 patients with uncontrolled CPS who had temporal lobe ictal onset on video-EEG. None had evidence for an alien tissue lesion or extra-hippocampal seizure onset. All had a history of secondary generalization. Brain structures were drawn on consecutive images and pixel points summed from successive pictures to calculate volumes.


Nine patients with a history of complex or prolonged FS had smaller ipsilateral HF volume and ipsilateral/contralateral ratio than did patients without a history of FS. Epilepsy duration had a significant relation to ipsilateral HF volume and ipsilateral/contralateral ratio. In a multivariate analysis, the effect of duration, but not age at onset or scan, was significant. Patients with a history of FS did not have earlier age at epilepsy onset or longer duration.


A history of FS predicted the severity of HF atrophy in our patients. Age at onset or study was not a significant factor. Epilepsy duration, however, did have a significant effect, suggesting that, after an initial insult, progressive HF damage may occur in patients with persistent seizures.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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