We examined cerebral perfusion changes in mesial temporal lobe epilepsy (mTLE) by the statistical parametric mapping of brain single photon emission computed tomography (SPECT) images of 38 mTLE patients and 19 normal controls. Ictal and interictal SPECTs were compared with control SPECTs by independent t test, and ictal and interictal SPECTs by paired t test. We evaluated the number of heterotopic neurons in temporal lobe white matter, white matter changes of the anterior temporal lobe (WCAT) and ictal hyperperfusion of the temporal stem (IHTS). Left mTLE showed interictal hypoperfusion in the ipsilateral hippocampus, bilateral thalami, and paracentral lobules. Right mTLE showed hypoperfusion in bilateral hippocampi, contralateral insula, bilateral thalami, and paracentral lobules. Both mTLEs showed ictal hyperperfusion in bilateral temporal lobes with ipsilateral predominance, and in the anterior frontal white matter bilaterally. By paired t test, ictal hyperperfusion was found in the ipsilateral temporal lobe, temporal stem, hippocampus, thalamus, putamen, insula, and bilateral precentral gyri, whereas ictal hypoperfusion was found in bilateral frontal poles and middle frontal gyri. Fifteen patients showed WCAT and 19 showed IHTS, a weak correlation was observed between WCAT and IHTS (r = 0.377, P = 0.02). WCAT was found to correlate with an early seizure onset age. In 35 patients, heterotopic neurons were found in the white matter of the resected temporal lobe, but the number of heterotopic neurons did not correlate with WCAT or IHTS. In summary, the cerebral perfusion patterns of mTLE suggest interictal hypofunction and ictal activation of the cortico-thalamo-hippocampal-insular network and ictal hypoperfusion of the anterior frontal cortex.