Noninvasive testing, early surgery, and seizure freedom in tuberous sclerosis complex

Neurology. 2010 Feb 2;74(5):392-8. doi: 10.1212/WNL.0b013e3181ce5d9e.


Background: The unambiguous identification of the epileptogenic tubers in individuals with tuberous sclerosis complex (TSC) can be challenging. We assessed whether magnetic source imaging (MSI) and coregistration of (18)fluorodeoxyglucose PET (FDG-PET) with MRI could improve the identification of the epileptogenic regions noninvasively in children with TSC.

Methods: In addition to standard presurgical evaluation, 28 children with intractable epilepsy from TSC referred from 2000 to 2007 had MSI and FDG-PET/MRI coregistration without extraoperative intracranial EEG.

Results: Based on the concordance of test results, 18 patients with TSC (64%) underwent surgical resection, with the final resection zone confirmed by intraoperative electrocorticography. Twelve patients are seizure free postoperatively (67%), with an average follow-up of 4.1 years. Younger age at surgery and shorter seizure duration were associated with postoperative seizure freedom. Conversely, older age and longer seizure duration were linked with continued seizures postoperatively or prevented surgery because of nonlateralizing or bilateral independent epileptogenic zones. Complete removal of presurgery MSI dipole clusters correlated with postoperative seizure freedom.

Conclusions: Magnetic source imaging and (18)fluorodeoxyglucose PET/MRI coregistration noninvasively localized the epileptogenic zones in many children with intractable epilepsy from tuberous sclerosis complex (TSC), with 67% seizure free postoperatively. Seizure freedom after surgery correlated with younger age and shorter seizure duration. These findings support the concept that early epilepsy surgery is associated with seizure freedom in children with TSC and intractable epilepsy.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Electroencephalography / methods
  • Female
  • Fluorodeoxyglucose F18
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging / methods
  • Male
  • Neurosurgical Procedures / methods
  • Positron-Emission Tomography / methods
  • Radiopharmaceuticals
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Seizures / diagnostic imaging
  • Seizures / etiology*
  • Seizures / pathology*
  • Statistics as Topic
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Tuberous Sclerosis / complications*
  • Tuberous Sclerosis / diagnosis
  • Tuberous Sclerosis / diagnostic imaging
  • Tuberous Sclerosis / pathology
  • Tuberous Sclerosis / surgery


  • Radiopharmaceuticals
  • Fluorodeoxyglucose F18