Multimodality imaging in partial epilepsies

Curr Opin Neurol. 2004 Apr;17(2):165-72. doi: 10.1097/00019052-200404000-00014.


Purpose of review: The rapid expansion of novel applications and the development of new techniques in structural and functional imaging modalities present a troubling challenge to keep up with and harness potential valuable information created in this critical field of epilepsy localization and non-invasive in-vivo research.

Recent findings: Recent advances in epilepsy imaging have centered on: (1) improving the localization of epileptogenic tissue beyond that of state-of-the-art structural magnetic resonance imaging; (2) monitoring the development and progression of epileptogenic pathology, particularly mesial temporal sclerosis; and (3) an investigation of the in-vivo structural and functional disturbances underlying and revealing mechanisms of partial epilepsy pathophysiology.

Summary: The main impact of the progress in epilepsy localization with multimodality imaging is to allow more effective presurgical evaluation and the selection of patients with intractable seizures. By combining serial imaging findings and genetic studies, the major questions surrounding the development and progression of mesial temporal sclerosis with regard to the cause and consequence of epilepsy will soon be answered. Long-standing questions concerning in-vivo metabolic and neurotransmitter disturbances associated with partial epilepsy, detected and depicted (but not understood) with magnetic resonance spectroscopy and positron emission tomography, are finally being addressed.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Brain Damage, Chronic / diagnosis*
  • Brain Damage, Chronic / physiopathology
  • Brain Mapping
  • Cerebral Cortex / pathology
  • Cerebral Cortex / physiopathology
  • Child
  • Disease Progression
  • Electroencephalography
  • Epilepsies, Partial / diagnosis*
  • Epilepsies, Partial / physiopathology
  • Hippocampus / pathology
  • Hippocampus / physiopathology
  • Humans
  • Image Processing, Computer-Assisted*
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging*
  • Magnetic Resonance Spectroscopy*
  • Magnetoencephalography
  • Sclerosis / pathology
  • Sensitivity and Specificity
  • Temporal Lobe / pathology
  • Temporal Lobe / physiopathology
  • Tomography, Emission-Computed*