Context: Febrile seizures may lead to later epilepsy. They have been associated with hippocampal atrophy but their effect on total cerebral volume is unknown. Objective: To compare total cerebral volume in patients with mesial temporal lobe epilepsy with and without a history of complex febrile seizures (CFS). Design: Survey. Setting: Epilepsy monitoring center. Subjects: Forty patients with localization-related epilepsy and temporal lobe onset determined by video electroencephalogram and 20 controls. Intervention: Magnetic resonance imaging measurement of cerebral volume. Main Outcome Measure: Total cerebral volume. Results: Patients with a history of CFS had significantly reduced total cerebral volume compared with patients without CFS. In addition, male patients with CFS had significantly lower total cerebral volume than male normal controls. There was no significant difference between patients without CFS, or all patients, and controls. Conclusion: Complex febrile seizures may have a global effect on brain development.
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