FIRES and IHHE: Delineation of the syndromes

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Abstract

Summary

Idiopathic hemiconvulsion hemiplegia and epilepsy syndrome (IHHE) and febrile infection–related epilepsy syndrome (FIRES) are rare epileptic syndromes characterized by the occurrence of status epilepticus in a previously healthy child during or closely after a febrile episode. In both syndromes, there is no evidence of central nervous system infection (encephalitis) and the etiology remains unclear. Treatment is disappointing, particularly in FIRES, except for a response to ketogenic diet (KD) in half of patients. In IHHS, children develop hemispheric brain atrophy with contralateral hemiplegia, epilepsy, and a variable degree of cognitive deficit. Patients with FIRES develop refractory epilepsy with severe cognitive deficit affecting the temporal and frontal lobe functions. The role of inflammation is hypothesized with a vicious circle involving inflammation and seizure activity facilitated by brain maturation putting them under the concept of “acute encephalopathy with inflammation-mediated status epilepticus.”

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