, Volume 26, Issue 4, pp 319-326
Date: 08 Feb 2012

Usefulness of extent analysis for statistical parametric mapping with asymmetry index using inter-ictal FGD-PET in mesial temporal lobe epilepsy

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Inter-ictal 18F-2-fluoro-deoxy-d-glucose-positron emission tomography (FDG-PET) is widely used for preoperative evaluation to identify epileptogenic zones in patients with temporal lobe epilepsy. In this study, we combined statistical parametric mapping (SPM) with the asymmetry index and volume-of-interest (VOI) based extent analysis employing preoperative FDG-PET in unilateral mesial temporal lobe epilepsy (MTLE) patients. We also evaluated the detection utility of these techniques for automated identification of abnormalities in the unilateral hippocampal area later confirmed to be epileptogenic zones by surgical treatment and subsequent good seizure control.


FDG-PET scans of 17 patients (9 males, mean age 35 years, age range 16–60 years) were retrospectively analyzed. All patients had been preoperatively diagnosed with unilateral MTLE. The surgical outcomes of all patients were Engel class 1A or 1B with postoperative follow-up of 2 years. FDG-PET images were spatially normalized and smoothed. After two voxel-value adjustments, one employing the asymmetry index and the other global normalization, had been applied to the images separately, voxel-based statistical comparisons were performed with 20 controls. Peak analysis and extent analysis in the VOI in the parahippocampal gyrus were conducted for SPM. For the extent analysis, a receiver operating characteristic (ROC) curve was devised to calculate the area under the curve and to determine the optimal threshold of extent.


The accuracy of the method employing the asymmetry index was better than that of the global normalization method for both the peak and the extent analysis. The ROC analysis results, for the extent analysis, yielded an area under the curve of 0.971, such that the accuracy and optimal extent threshold of judgment were 92 and 32.9%, respectively.


Statistical z-score mapping with the asymmetry index was more sensitive for detecting regional glucose hypometabolism and more accurate for identifying the side harboring the epileptogenic zone using inter-ictal FDG-PET in unilateral MTLE than z-score mapping with global normalization. Moreover, the automated determination of the side with the epileptogenic zone in unilateral MTLE showed improved accuracy when the combination of SPM with the asymmetry index and extent analysis was applied based on the VOI in the parahippocampal gyrus.