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J Child Neurol. 2000 Feb;15(2):125-8.

Hot water epilepsy: a benign and unrecognized form.

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  • 1Department of Pediatric Neurology, Hôpital Raymond Poincaré, Garches, France.


Hot water epilepsy is a reflex epilepsy. Seizures are provoked by hot water, and result from the association of both cutaneous and heat stimuli. Described mainly in India and Japan, the condition seems to be rare in Europe, where it occurs in young children. We report five infants aged from 6 months to 2 years. They had brief seizures during bathing with activity arrest, hypotonia, and vasoactive modification; clonic movements were observed. A simple treatment-decreasing the bath temperature-can be sufficient. Sometimes an antiepileptic drug is required. Seizure course and psychomotor development are favorable. Hot water epilepsy is a benign form of epilepsy. Its incidence could be underestimated because of confusion with febrile convulsions, vagal fits, or aquagenic urticaria.

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