Seizures alter CSF findings

Do seizures alter CSF findings?


This study of LP results strongly suggests that prolonged seizures (>30 minutes) DO not affect cell counts, glucose levels, or protein levels in the CSF.

CSF abnormalities should not be attributed to seizures and meningitis should be considered.  Seizures do not alter CSF findings.


Cerebrospinal Fluid Findings in Children with Fever-Associated Status Epilepticus: Results of the Consequences of Prolonged Febrile Seizures (FEBSTAT) tudy

J Pediatr 2012;161:1169-71.

FEBSTAT Study Team



This prospective multicenter study of 200 patients with fever-associated status epilepticus (FSE), of whom 136 underwent a nontraumatic lumbar puncture, confirms that FSE rarely causes cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) pleocytosis.

CSF glucose and protein levels were unremarkable. Temperature, age, seizure focality, and seizure duration did not affect results.

CSF pleocytosis should not be attributed to FSE.

The article is available here


Other relevant material

RCH Clinical Practice Guideline on CSF Interpretation

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Prof South is a paediatrician and intensivist based at Royal Children's Hospital, Melbourne. He regularly blogs on line Mike's webpage
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