MRI-negative refractory partial epilepsy: role for diffusion tensor imaging in high field MRI

Epilepsy Res. 2008 Jul;80(1):83-9. doi: 10.1016/j.eplepsyres.2008.03.009. Epub 2008 Apr 28.


Objective: Our aim is to use the high field MR scanner (3T) to verify whether diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) could help in locating the epileptogenic zone in patients with MRI-negative refractory partial epilepsy.

Method: Fifteen patients with refractory partial epilepsy who had normal conventional MRI, and 40 healthy volunteers were recruited for the study. DTI was performed on a 3T MR scanner, individual maps of mean diffusivity (MD) and fractional anisotropy (FA) were calculated, and Voxel-Based Analysis (VBA) was performed for individual comparison between patients and controls.

Result: Voxel-based analysis revealed significant MD increase in variant regions in 13 patients. The electroclinical seizure localization was concurred to seven patients. No patient exhibited regions of significant decreased MD. Regions of significant reduced FA were observed in five patients, with two of these concurring with electroclinical seizure localization. Two patients had regions of significant increase in FA, which were distinct from electroclinical seizure localization.

Conclusion: Our study's results revealed that DTI is a responsive neuroradiologic technique that provides information about the epileptogenic areas in patients with MRI-negative refractory partial epilepsy. This technique may also helpful in pre-surgical evaluation.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Brain Mapping*
  • Diffusion Magnetic Resonance Imaging*
  • Epilepsies, Partial / pathology*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Image Processing, Computer-Assisted
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged