Functional significance of MRI defined mesial temporal sclerosis in temporal lobe epilepsy.
Yacubian EM1, Cukiert A, Carrilho P, Jorge CL, Fiore LA, Buchpiguel CA.
The functional significance of MRI-defined mesial temporal sclerosis in temporal lobe epilepsy (TLE) is not completely established. In order to study the possible relationship between signals of mesial temporal sclerosis on MRI and interictal SPECT findings we selected 18 patients with complex partial seizures, unilateral temporal EEG focus and normal CT. The EEG focus was defined by the presence of interictal sharp waves and slow background on several scalp EEG obtained during many years of follow up in all patients and by ictal recordings with sphenoidal electrodes in 12 patients. Group I comprised patients (n = 11) in whom MRI showed mesial temporal sclerosis; group II patients (n = 7) had normal MRIs. All patients were submitted to interictal 99m-Tc HMPAO injections with concomitant EEG monitoring. Lateralized hypoperfusion ipsilateral to the EEG was found in 13 patients (72%). In all Group II and in 6 Group I patients a temporal hypoperfusion was found. This SPECT study showed a higher positivity rate in patients with normal MRI than previously reported. On the other hand, in all these group II patients a neocortical origin of epileptic focus was suspected on clinical or electroencephalographic basis. Positive SPECT findings may be at least as prevalent in neocortical as in mesiolimbic epilepsy.