Neuroimaging in epilepsy surgery: a review

J Clin Neurosci. 1996 Oct;3(4):305-9. doi: 10.1016/s0967-5868(96)90024-7.


In recent years there has been a shift away from invasive monitoring, with more emphasis on the role of neuroimaging, in the selection of patients for epilepsy surgery. Although video-EEG is essential to confirm the diagnosis, and to determine the ictal onset, neuroimaging, in particular magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), forms the basis for selection of most surgical candidates. MRI, using visual analysis, is able to detect hippocampal sclerosis, the most common cause of temporal lobe epilepsy, in the majority of patients with this condition, with quantitative MRI increasing the sensitivity of this imaging technique. Other lesions readily detected on MRI include dysplasia, neuronal migration disorders and cavernomas. Studies have shown that the best postoperative results are achieved in patients with a lesion visible on MRI. Functional imaging, both single photon emission computed tomography (SPECT), in particular ictal SPECT, and photon emission tomography (PET), are important ancillary investigations providing valuable corroborative evidence of a seizure focus.