SPM analysis of ictal-interictal SPECT in mesial temporal lobe epilepsy: relationships between ictal semiology and perfusion changes

Epilepsy Res. 2009 Aug;85(2-3):252-60. doi: 10.1016/j.eplepsyres.2009.03.020. Epub 2009 Jun 27.


A combination of temporo-limbic hyperperfusion and extratemporal hypoperfusion was observed during complex partial seizures (CPS) in temporal lobe epilepsy (TLE). To investigate the clinical correlate of perfusion changes in TLE, we analyzed focal seizures of increasing severity using voxel-based analysis of ictal SPECT. We selected 26 pre-operative pairs of ictal-interictal SPECTs from adult mesial TLE patients, seizure-free after surgery. Ictal SPECTs were classified in three groups: motionless seizures (group ML, n=8), seizures with motor automatisms (MA) without dystonic posturing (DP) (group MA, n=8), and seizures with DP with or without MA (DP, n=10). Patients of group ML had simple partial seizures (SPS), while others had CPS. Groups of ictal-interictal SPECT were compared to a control group using statistical parametric mapping (SPM). In ML group, SPM analysis failed to show significant changes. Hyperperfusion involved the anteromesial temporal region in MA group, and also the insula, posterior putamen and thalamus in DP group. Hypoperfusion was restricted to the posterior cingulate and prefrontal regions in MA group, and involved more widespread associative anterior and posterior regions in DP group. Temporal lobe seizures with DP show the most complex pattern of combined hyper-hypoperfusion, possibly related both to a larger spread and the recruitment of more powerful inhibitory processes.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Automatism / physiopathology
  • Cerebrovascular Circulation / physiology*
  • Data Interpretation, Statistical
  • Dystonia / physiopathology
  • Electroencephalography
  • Epilepsy, Temporal Lobe / diagnostic imaging*
  • Epilepsy, Temporal Lobe / physiopathology
  • Humans
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Seizures / classification
  • Seizures / diagnostic imaging*
  • Seizures / physiopathology
  • Tomography, Emission-Computed, Single-Photon