Diffusion-based magnetic resonance imaging and tractography in epilepsy

Epilepsia. 2008 Feb;49(2):189-200. doi: 10.1111/j.1528-1167.2007.01378.x. Epub 2007 Oct 16.


Diffusion-based imaging is an advanced MRI technique that is sensitive to the movement of water molecules, providing additional information on the micro-structural arrangement of tissue. Qualitative and quantitative analysis of peri, post and interictal diffusion images can aid the localization of seizure foci. Diffusion tensor tractography is an extension of diffusion-based imaging, and can provide additional information about white matter pathways. Both techniques are able to increase understanding of the effects of epilepsy on the structural organization of the brain, and can be used to optimize presurgical planning of patients with epilepsy. This review focuses on the basis, applications, limitations, and future directions of diffusion imaging in epilepsy. Literature search strategy: We searched Pubmed using the terms "diffusion MRI or diffusion tensor MRI or tractography and epilepsy."

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Anisotropy
  • Body Water / metabolism
  • Brain / pathology*
  • Brain / physiopathology
  • Brain / surgery
  • Brain Mapping
  • Diffusion Magnetic Resonance Imaging / statistics & numerical data*
  • Disease Models, Animal
  • Epilepsy / pathology*
  • Epilepsy / physiopathology
  • Epilepsy / surgery
  • Humans
  • Image Processing, Computer-Assisted
  • Imaging, Three-Dimensional
  • Neural Pathways / pathology*
  • Neural Pathways / physiopathology
  • Neural Pathways / surgery
  • Preoperative Care
  • Rats