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Intrathecal Dexamethasone in Febrile Infection-Related Epilepsy Syndrome: A Case Report. Neurol Clin Pract 2023 Jun;13(3):e200153



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OBJECTIVES: Febrile infection-related epilepsy syndrome (FIRES) is characterized by explosive onset refractory status epilepticus (RSE) in healthy individuals that is refractory to antiseizure medication (ASM), continuous anesthetic infusions (CIs), and immunomodulators. Recently, a case series of patients receiving intrathecal dexamethasone (IT-DEX) was reported with improved RSE control.

METHODS: We present a child with FIRES with favorable outcome after receiving concomitant anakinra and IT-DaEX. A 9-year-old male patient presented with encephalopathy following a febrile illness. He developed seizures evolving to RSE refractory to multiple ASM, 3 CIs, steroids, IVIG, plasmapheresis, ketogenic diet (KD), and anakinra. After continued seizures and inability to wean off CI, IT-DEX was initiated.

RESULTS: He received 6 doses of IT-DEX with resolution of RSE, rapid wean off CI, and improved inflammatory markers. At discharge, he was ambulating with assistance, speaking 2 languages, and ingesting food orally.

DISCUSSION: FIRES is a neurologically devastating syndrome with high mortality and morbidity. Proposed guidelines and various treatment strategies are becoming available in the literature. Although treatment with KD, anakinra, and tocilizumab has been successful in previous FIRES cases, our results suggest that the addition of IT-DEX may allow for faster weaning off CI and better cognitive outcomes when initiated early in the course.

Author List

Mehta NP, Sawdy R, Maloney K, Overlee B, Johnson RK, Howe CL, Farias-Moeller R


Kathleen Maloney Nurse Practitioner Peds Crit Care in the Pediatrics department at Medical College of Wisconsin