Purpose: Neuron-specific enolase (NSE) has been established as a reliable m
arker of neuronal damage in various neurologic disorders. The aim of this s
tudy was to evaluate whether febrile seizures (FS) cause brain damage, base
d on the serum and cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) levels of NSE.
Methods: Fifty-three patients aged from 6 months to 7 years were enrolled.
Among them, 36 patients had generalized seizures, and 17 had partial seizur
es. The maximal seizure duration was 90 min. Blood and CSF samples for meas
urement of NSE were obtained immediately after the seizure. NSE was measure
d using an enzyme immunoassay (EIA). Results; Serum and CSF levels of NSE r
anged up to 10 ng/mL, but very high levels were nor observed. In patients w
ith partial seizures, the NSE level in the CSF and the ratio of the CSF to
serum NSE levels showed a strong correlation with seizure duration. Convers
ely, there were no correlations between NSE levels and seizure duration in
the patients with generalized seizures.
Conclusions: These results indicate that FS seldom cause severe neurologic
damage, but prolonged partial seizures may cause slight neuronal injury.