, Volume 28, Issue 10, pp 1529-1540

Inter-modality comparisons of seizure focus lateralization in complex partial seizures

Rent the article at a discount

Rent now

* Final gross prices may vary according to local VAT.

Get Access

Abstract.

Anterior temporal lobectomy offers a high chance of seizure-free outcome in patients suffering from drug-refractory complex partial seizure (CPS) originating from the temporal lobe. Other than EEG, several functional and morphologic imaging methods are used to define the spatial seizure origin. The present study was undertaken to compare the merits of fluorine-18 fluorodeoxyglucose positron emission tomography (FDG-PET), magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and single-voxel proton MR spectroscopy (MRS) for the lateralization of temporal lobe seizure foci. The clinical charts and imaging data of 43 consecutive CPS patients were reviewed. Based on surface EEG, 31 patients were classified with temporal lobe epilepsy (TLE; 25 lateralized, 6 not lateralized) and 12 with non-temporal lobe epilepsy. All were examined by FDG-PET, MRS and MRI within 6 weeks. FDG-PET and MRI were interpreted visually, while the N-acetyl-aspartate to creatine ratio was used for MRS interpretation. One FDG-PET scan was invalid due to seizure activity post injection. The MR spectra could not be evaluated in five cases bilaterally and three cases unilaterally for technical reasons. A total of 15 patients underwent anterior temporal lobectomy. All showed a beneficial postoperative outcome. When the proportions of agreement between FDG-PET (0.77), MRI (0.58) and MRS (0.56) and surface EEG in TLE cases were compared, there were no significant differences (P>0.10). However, FDG-PET showed a significantly higher agreement (0.93) than MRI (0.60; P=0.03) with the side of successful temporal lobectomy. The concordance of MRS with the side of successful temporal lobectomy was intermediate (0.75). When the results of functional and morphologic imaging were combined, no significant differences were found between the rates of agreement of FDG-PET/MRI and MRS/MRI with EEG (0.80 vs 0.68; P=0.50) and with the side of successful temporal lobectomy (0.87 vs 0.92; P=0.50) in TLE cases. However, MRS/MRI showed significantly more lateralized temporal lobe abnormalities in non-temporal lobe epilepsy cases than FDG-PET/MRI (0.90 vs. 0.17; P<0.01). Although FDG-PET seems to be the most reliable and stable method for this purpose, we conclude that in TLE cases it may be justified to perform MRS, which is less expensive, faster and has no radiation exposure, in combination with MRI before FDG-PET, since FDG-PET offers little additional diagnostic information if MRS and MRI indicate the same seizure focus lateralization.

Received 26 March 2001 and in revised form 17 June 2001
Electronic Publication