Utility of Ictal SPECT in the presurgical evaluation of Rasmussen's encephalitis

Can J Neurol Sci. 2006 Feb;33(1):107-10. doi: 10.1017/s0317167100004807.


Background: Rasmussen's encephalitis is a progressive disease characterized by severe progressive neurological and cognitive deficits. It is a difficult condition to treat with conventional medical treatment and requires, in most of the cases, surgical intervention.

Methods: We present the case of a patient with Rasmussen's encephalitis who presented with epilepsia partialis continua, who did not respond to antiepileptic treatment and was evaluated for possible surgical intervention.

Results: The electroencephalographic studies revealed bihemispheric involvement during seizures, although magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) showed a marked right hemispheric atrophy. Hyperperfusion over the right hemisphere was seen with the performance of ictal single photon emission computed tomography (SPECT), which finally guided a right functional hemispherectomy and subsequent seizure control.

Conclusion: Ictal SPECT could be a useful tool in the armamentarium of tools used for the localization of the epileptogenic focus in patients with Rasmussen's encephalitis and other localization-related epilepsies.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Brain / pathology
  • Electroencephalography
  • Encephalitis / diagnosis*
  • Encephalitis / surgery
  • Epilepsia Partialis Continua / etiology
  • Female
  • Hemispherectomy
  • Humans
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging
  • Oximes
  • Seizures / etiology
  • Tomography, Emission-Computed, Single-Photon*


  • Oximes
  • hexamethylpropyleneamine oxime