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J Child Neurol. 2002 Jan;17 Suppl 1:S44-52.

Febrile seizures.

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Montefiore Medical Center, and the Albert Einstein College of Medicine, Bronx, NY 10467, USA.


Febrile seizures are the most common form of childhood seizures, occurring in 2 to 5% of children in the United States. Most febrile seizures are considered simple, although those with focal onset, prolonged duration, or that occur more than once within the same febrile illness are considered complex. Risk factors for a first febrile seizure, recurrence of febrile seizures, and development of future epilepsy are identifiable and varied. Children with febrile seizures encounter little risk of mortality and morbidity and have no association with any detectable brain damage. Recurrence is possible, but only a small minority will go on to develop epilepsy. Although antiepileptic drugs can prevent recurrent febrile seizures, they do not alter the risk of subsequent epilepsy. This has led to a changing view of how we approach the treatment of these common and largely benign seizures. This chapter will review the current understanding of the prognosis and management of febrile seizures.

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