Table of Contents
Epilepsy Research and Treatment
Volume 2016, Article ID 5873208, 4 pages
Research Article

Ketogenic Diet Decreases Emergency Room Visits and Hospitalizations Related to Epilepsy

1Epilepsy Section, Neurology Division, Department of Pediatrics, Children’s Mercy Hospitals and Clinics, University of Missouri in Kansas City, Kansas City, MO, USA
2Neurology Department, Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital, Grand Rapids, MI, USA

Received 15 July 2016; Accepted 6 September 2016

Academic Editor: József Janszky

Copyright © 2016 Husam R. Kayyali et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Background. Approximately, one-third of patients with epilepsy are refractory to pharmacological treatment which mandates extensive medical care and imposes significant economic burden on patients and their societies. This study intends to assess the impact of the treatment with ketogenic diet (KD) on reducing seizure-related emergency room visits and hospitalizations in children with refractory epilepsy. Methods. This is a retrospective review of children treated with the KD in one tertiary center. We compared a 12 months’ period prior to KD with 12 months after the diet was started in regard to the number of emergency department (ED) visits, hospitalizations, and hospital days as well as their associated charges. Results. 37 patients (57% males) were included. Their ages at time of KD initiation were () years. Twelve months after the KD initiation, the total number of ED visits was reduced by 36% with a significant decrease of associated charges (). The number of hospital admissions was reduced by 40% and the number of hospital days was reduced by 39%. The cumulative charges showed net cost savings after 9 months when compared to the prediet baseline. Conclusion. In children with refractory epilepsy, treatment with the ketogenic diet reduces the number of ED visits and hospitalizations and their corresponding costs.