Background and purpose: The widespread propagation of synchronized neuronal firing in seizure disorders may affect cortical and subcortical brain regions. Diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) can noninvasively quantify white matter integrity. The purpose of this study was to investigate the abnormal changes of white matter in children and adolescents with focal temporal lobe epilepsy (TLE) using DTI.
Materials and methods: Eight patients with clinically diagnosed TLE and eight age- and sex-matched healthy controls were studied. DTI images were obtained with a 3-T magnetic resonance imaging scanner. The epileptic foci were localized with magnetoencephalography. Fractional anisotropy (FA), mean diffusivity (MD), parallel (λ(||)) and perpendicular (λ(⊥)) diffusivities in the genu of the corpus callosum, splenium of the corpus callosum (SCC), external capsule (EC), anterior limbs of the internal capsule (AIC), and the posterior limbs of the internal capsule (PIC) were calculated. The DTI parameters between patients and controls were statistically compared. Correlations of these DTI parameters of each selected structure with age of seizure onset and duration of epilepsy were analysed.
Results: In comparison to controls, both patients' seizure ipsilateral and contralateral had significantly lower FA in the AIC; PIC and SCC and higher MD, λ(||) and λ(⊥) in the EC, AIC, PIC and SCC. The MD, λ(||) and λ(⊥) were significantly correlated with age of seizure onset in the EC and PIC. λ(||) was significantly correlated with the duration of epilepsy in the EC and PIC.
Conclusion: The results of the present study indicate that children and adolescents with TLE had significant abnormalities in the white matter in the hemisphere with seizure foci. Furthermore, these abnormalities may extend to the other brain hemisphere. The age of seizure onset and duration of epilepsy may be important factors in determining the extent of influence of children and adolescents TLE on white matter.
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