June 1987

Natural History of Fever Following Seizure

Author Affiliations

From the Departments of Community Health (Dr Wachtel) and Medicine (Drs Steele and Day), Brown University, Providence, RI.

Arch Intern Med. 1987;147(6):1153-1155. doi:10.1001/archinte.1987.00370060149024

• Generalized tonic-clonic seizure, like vigorous exercise, can cause a rise in body temperature. To describe the course of fever following a generalized seizure, the temperature curves of 93 hospitalized postictal patients were reviewed retrospectively. Forty patients (43%) had an elevation of body temperature above 37.8°C (100°F). No underlying infectious illness was identified in two thirds of the febrile patients, 89% of whom had become and remained afebrile by 48 hours. One third of the febrile patients who did have an infection were still febrile after 48 hours. This finding may help clinicians determine the timing of appropriate tests to rule out infections during the postictal period.

(Arch Intern Med 1987;147:1153-1155)