The FEBSTAT (Consequences of Prolonged Febrile Seizures) study is prospectively addressing the relationships among serial EEG, MRI, and clinical follow-up in a cohort of children followed from the time of presentation with febrile status epilepticus (FSE).
We recruited 199 children with FSE within 72 hours of presentation. Children underwent a detailed history, physical examination, MRI, and EEG within 72 hours. All EEGs were read by 2 teams and then conferenced. Associations with abnormal EEG were determined using logistic regression. Interrater reliability was assessed using the κ statistic.
Of the 199 EEGs, 90 (45.2%) were abnormal with the most common abnormality being focal slowing (n = 47) or attenuation (n = 25); these were maximal over the temporal areas in almost all cases. Epileptiform abnormalities were present in 13 EEGs (6.5%). In adjusted analysis, the odds of focal slowing were significantly increased by focal FSE (odds ratio [OR] = 5.08) and hippocampal T2 signal abnormality (OR = 3.50) and significantly decreased with high peak temperature (OR = 0.18). Focal EEG attenuation was also associated with hippocampal T2 signal abnormality (OR = 3.3).
Focal EEG slowing or attenuation are present in EEGs obtained within 72 hours of FSE in a substantial proportion of children and are highly associated with MRI evidence of acute hippocampal injury. These findings may be a sensitive and readily obtainable marker of acute injury associated with FSE.