Epilepsy diagnosis and localization in patients with antecedent childhood febrile convulsions

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A history of febrile convulsions (FC) is often obtained in patients presenting for surgical treatment of temporal lobe epilepsy (TLE), but it is not clear that preferential temporal localization of epilepsy is associated with antecedent FC.


We prospectively inquired about FC and their characteristics in all patients presenting to an epilepsy clinic through a patient questionnaire and interview. We studied the incidence of antecedent childhood febrile convulsions in relation to epilepsy diagnosis.


FC were reported by 133 of 1005 study patients (13.2%). TLE was more likely to be preceded by FC (78/310, 25.2%) than extratemporal epilepsy (ETE)(12/216, 5.6%) (p < 0.000001) or generalized epilepsy (GE)(16/146, 11.0%) (p < 0.001). Patients with GE were more likely than patients with TLE to have had simple FC (p < 0.00005). Prolonged duration was the most common FC complex feature in TLE patients.


We demonstrated a preferential association of FC with temporal lobe foci and a weaker association between FC and GE. FC does not appear to be a clear risk factor for ETE.

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