Meta-analysis of voxel-based morphometry studies of gray matter abnormalities in patients with mesial temporal lobe epilepsy and unilateral hippocampal sclerosis

  • Liyun Zheng
  • Guo Bin
  • Hongwu Zeng
  • Dongfang Zou
  • Junling Gao
  • Jian Zhang
  • Bingsheng Huang
Original Research


We aimed to perform a meta-analysis to systematically determine the most consistent regions of gray matter volume (GMV) abnormality in patients of unilateral mesial temporal lobe epilepsy with hippocampal sclerosis (MTLE-HS), and to reveal the difference of GMV abnormality between the patients with left-sided and right-sided MTLE-HS. A comprehensive and systematic search was performed in PubMed for voxel-based morphometry (VBM) studies of MTLE-HS. A total of 12 MTLE-HS studies, including 9 left-sided MTLE-HS (LMTLE-HS) and 8 right-sided MTLE-HS (RMTLE-HS) studies were included. The activation likelihood estimation (ALE) method was applied in our meta-analysis. Compared to the healthy controls, MTLE-HS patients showed significant GMV decrease in the parahippocampal gyrus, left pulvinar and right pyramis. For LMTLE-HS, the most consistent GMV decrease was detected in the left parahippocampal gyrus. For RMTLE-HS, the most consistent GMV decrease was found in the right parahippocampal gyrus. No shared regions of significant GMV reduction were found between LMTLE-HS and RMTLE-HS either. This meta-analysis revealed that MTLE-HS patients had significant GMV reduction even beyond the hippocampus, and the subtypes showed distinct reduction patterns. Our findings, if were further verified with larger samples, would have implications for the clinical diagnosis of MTLE-HS.


Meta-analysis Mesial temporal lobe epilepsy Hippocampal sclerosis Gray matter volume Voxel-based morphometry Activation likelihood estimation 



This work was supported by The Seed Funding from Scientific and Technical Innovation Council of Shenzhen Government (No. 000048), Special Funding Scheme for Supporting the Innovation and Research of Shenzhen High-caliber Overseas Intelligent (No. KQCX20140519103243534), and Shenzhen Municipal Scheme for Basic Research (No. JCYJ20170303160116960).

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

All the authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Ethical approval

All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional and national research committee and with the 1964 Helsinki declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards. This article does not contain any studies with animals performed by any of the authors.

Informed consent

Informed consent was obtained from all individual participants included in the study.


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Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.National-Regional Key Technology Engineering Laboratory for Medical Ultrasound, Guangdong Key Laboratory for Biomedical Measurements and Ultrasound Imaging, School of Biomedical Engineering, Health Science CenterShenzhen UniversityShenzhenPeople’s Republic of China
  2. 2.Department of RadiologyShenzhen Children’s HospitalShenzhenPeople’s Republic of China
  3. 3.Department of NeurologyShenzhen Children’s HospitalShenzhenPeople’s Republic of China
  4. 4.Centre of Buddhists Studies, Art FacultyThe University of Hong KongHong KongPeople’s Republic of China
  5. 5.School of Medicine, Health Science CentreShenzhen UniversityShenzhenPeople’s Republic of China

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