Transient and permanent magnetic resonance imaging abnormalities after complex partial status epilepticus

Epilepsy Behav. 2006 May;8(3):666-71. doi: 10.1016/j.yebeh.2006.01.002. Epub 2006 Feb 28.


Epileptic seizures, especially status epilepticus can produce MRI changes. In contrast to convulsive status epilepticus (CSE), permanent parenchymal loss is not well documented with nonconvulsive status epilepticus (NCSE) and the observed MRI changes are transient. We describe a patient with non-lesional right-sided temporal lobe epilepsy with complex partial seizures and repeated episodes of untreated complex partial status epilepticus (CPSE). Diffusion-weighted MRI exhibited marked and extended signal changes within the right temporal, frontal, insular and cingulate regions. The affected areas are considered propagation pathways of temporal lobe epilepsies. After admission, the patient was treated with i.v. antiepileptic drugs. Behavioral, EEG and MRI signal changes resolved. An atrophy of the right temporal lobe not seen in the pre-status MRI examinations was observed 6 weeks after the resolution of MRI hyperintensities. Prior episodes of CPSE had been correctly treated and remained without permanent brain damage. This case report is in favour of immediate and aggressive treatment of partial NCSE in order to avoid irreversible parenchymal loss.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Electroencephalography
  • Epilepsy, Complex Partial / diagnosis*
  • Epilepsy, Complex Partial / pathology
  • Humans
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging*
  • Male
  • Status Epilepticus / pathology*