Is Iron Insufficiency Associated With Febrile Seizure? Experience in an Iranian Hospital

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Background: Febrile seizures (FS) are the most common type of convulsion in young children. The predisposing factors are still under investigation; however, iron insufficiency might play a role in this regard. Objectives: Our objective was to determine the association between iron status and febrile seizure. Patients and Methods: This prospective case-control study was conducted among 109 children aged 6 months to 6 years and hospitalized for the first episode of FS. The case group was compared to a group of 70 age- and sex-matched controls admitted to the same ward with the same diagnosis of infection. The control and case groups were matched based on family history of FS, age, sex, temperature, cause of illness, erythrocyte sedimentation rate (ESR), white blood cells (WBC), and platelets. Venous blood samples were examined for complete blood count (CBC), serum iron, serum ferritin, and total iron-binding capacity. The CBC included measurements of red blood cell (RBC), hemoglobin (Hb), hematocrit (HCT), mean corpuscular volume (MCV), mean corpuscular hemoglobin (MCH), mean corpuscular hemoglobin concentration (MCHC), WBC, and platelets. Results: There were no significant differences between the study groups in terms of temperature, ESR, WBC, and platelets. The mean Hb, HCT, ferritin, iron, and MCH were significantly lower in the case group than in the control group. The mean level of MCV in the FS group was lower than the mean level of MCV in the control group, but the difference was not significant. Conclusions: Low levels of serum ferritin and iron might play a role in the pathogenesis of simple febrile seizure. Further longitudinal studies are clearly needed to confirm our findings.