Interictal epileptiform discharges relate to 1H-MRS-detected metabolic abnormalities in mesial temporal lobe epilepsy

Epilepsia. 2002 Nov;43(11):1385-9. doi: 10.1046/j.1528-1157.2002.29901.x.


Purpose: To examine whether the distribution of interictal epileptiform discharges (IEDs) recorded from foramen ovale electrodes (FOEs) correlates with metabolite levels in medial structures of the temporal lobes in patients with mesial temporal lobe epilepsy (MTLE).

Methods: We studied 34 patients with MTLE. The lateralization ratio of IEDs was calculated after counting IEDs recorded from FOEs during prolonged video-EEG monitoring. Metabolite ratio between N-acetylaspartate (NAA) and creatine (Cr) was calculated in each medial temporal structure. The correlation between the lateralization ratio of IEDs and metabolic ratio was evaluated.

Results: The asymmetry indexes of IEDs correlated with the asymmetry index of NAA/Cr ratio in the medial temporal structure (rho = -0.380; p = 0.027). Analysis of IEDs and metabolite ratio revealed a significant inverse relation in the contralateral side to the major epileptogenic focus (rho = -0.360; p = 0.037); however, this significance was not present in the ipsilateral side (rho = -0.018; p = 0.921).

Conclusions: There is a correlation between the neuronal dysfunction or damage detected by MRS and the epileptic activity in the contralateral medial temporal structure. Our results suggest that the pathomechanism underlying the contralateral reduction of NAA/Cr ratio, frequently observed in patients with MTLE, might be related to the process of epileptogenesis generating the independent contralateral IEDs.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aspartic Acid / analogs & derivatives*
  • Aspartic Acid / metabolism
  • Creatine / metabolism
  • Electroencephalography
  • Epilepsy, Temporal Lobe / diagnosis
  • Epilepsy, Temporal Lobe / metabolism*
  • Epilepsy, Temporal Lobe / physiopathology*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging
  • Magnetic Resonance Spectroscopy
  • Male
  • Temporal Lobe / metabolism


  • Aspartic Acid
  • N-acetylaspartate
  • Creatine