Temporal lobe sclerosis associated with hippocampal sclerosis in temporal lobe epilepsy: neuropathological features

J Neuropathol Exp Neurol. 2009 Aug;68(8):928-38. doi: 10.1097/NEN.0b013e3181b05d67.


Widespread changes involving neocortical and mesial temporal lobe structures can be present in patients with temporal lobe epilepsy and hippocampal sclerosis. The incidence, pathology, and clinical significance of neocortical temporal lobe sclerosis (TLS) are not well characterized. We identified TLS in 30 of 272 surgically treated cases of hippocampal sclerosis. Temporal lobe sclerosis was defined by variable reduction of neurons from cortical layers II/III and laminar gliosis; it was typically accompanied by additional architectural abnormalities of layer II, that is, abnormal neuronal orientation and aggregation. Quantitative analysis including tessellation methods for the distribution of layer II neurons supported these observations. In 40% of cases, there was a gradient of TLS with more severe involvement toward the temporal pole, possibly signifying involvement of hippocampal projection pathways. There was a history of a febrile seizure as an initial precipitating injury in 73% of patients with TLS compared with 36% without TLS; no other clinical differences between TLS and non-TLS cases were identified. Temporal lobe sclerosis was not evident preoperatively by neuroimaging. No obvious effect of TLS on seizure outcome was noted after temporal lobe resection; 73% became seizure-free at 2-year follow-up. In conclusion, approximately 11% of surgically treated hippocampal sclerosis is accompanied by TLS. Temporal lobe sclerosis is likely an acquired process with accompanying reorganizational dysplasia and an extension of mesial temporal sclerosis rather than a separate pathological entity.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Epilepsy, Temporal Lobe / complications*
  • Epilepsy, Temporal Lobe / pathology*
  • Hippocampus / pathology*
  • Humans
  • Neurons / pathology*
  • Phosphopyruvate Hydratase / metabolism
  • Sclerosis / complications*
  • Sclerosis / enzymology
  • Sclerosis / pathology
  • Temporal Lobe / enzymology
  • Temporal Lobe / pathology*


  • Phosphopyruvate Hydratase