OBJECTIVE. To determine the likelihood of intracranial pathologic conditions requiring emergency neurosurgical or medical intervention among children without meningitis who presented to the pediatric emergency department after a first complex febrile seizure. METHODS.We performed a retrospective review of prospectively collected data for children in neurologically normal condition who presented to a single pediatric emergency department after a first complex febrile seizure (focal, multiple, or prolonged). The complex febrile seizure classification was determined independently by 2 epileptologists. The presence of intracranial pathologic conditions was determined through review of neuroimaging results, telephone interviews, or medical record review. RESULTS. Data for 71 children with first complex febrile seizures were analyzed. Fifty-one (72%) had a single complex feature (20 focal, 22 multiple, and 9 prolonged), and 20 (28%) had multiple complex features. None of the 71 patients (1-sided 95% confidence interval: 4%) had intracranial pathologic conditions that required emergency neurosurgical or medical intervention. CONCLUSIONS. For children with first complex febrile seizures, the risk of intracranial pathologic conditions that require emergency neurosurgical or medical intervention is low, which suggests that routine emergency neuroimaging for this population is unnecessary.
- Complex febrile seizures
- Emergency intracranial pathology
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health