Epilepsy may contribute to memory deficits in children, but these deficits are generally mild. We describe the neuropsychological profile of a female who had prolonged status epilepticus at 5 years of age, and then developed temporal lobe epilepsy. Brain magnetic resonance imaging 1 month after the onset of status epilepticus showed marked bilateral hippocampal atrophy that seemed disproportionate to the mild cortico-subcortical atrophy. At the age of 7 years, this child had cognitive impairment (an IQ of 62), which particularly affected her memory. This included short-term memory, and immediate and delayed memory deficits for verbal and visual materials that had a profound impact on everyday life. This observation demonstrates that severe status epilepticus can cause predominant bilateral hippocampal atrophy in childhood. In contrast with children who develop such damage after anoxia, this may result in general cognitive impairment but also in more severe episodic memory deficit.