Electrocorticographic confirmation of focal positron emission tomographic abnormalities in children with intractable epilepsy

Epilepsia. Nov-Dec 1990;31(6):731-9. doi: 10.1111/j.1528-1157.1990.tb05514.x.


The relationship between focal disturbances of glucose utilization demonstrated by positron emission tomography (PET) and electrophysiologic abnormalities defined by intraoperative electrocorticography (ECoG) was studied in eight children (aged 13 months to 12 years) who underwent cortical resection because of intractable seizures. None of the children had pure temporal lobe epilepsy. Computed tomography (CT) and/or magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) were normal in four of the eight children. The scalp electroencephalogram (EEG) showed lateralized interictal epileptiform abnormalities in all eight and lateralized ictal onset in five of eight. In seven children, interictal PET showed focal hypometabolism; the eighth child had focal, ictal hypermetabolism. ECoG at the time of surgery showed epileptiform spiking, slowing, and/or suppression of normal background activity that in every case corresponded to the focus on PET scan. The ECoG findings support the notion that in children with epilepsy focal metabolic abnormalities on PET correspond to electrophysiologically abnormal areas of cortex, which are presumably also the epileptogenic regions. Such areas can appear normal on anatomic imaging studies (CT and MRI). When ictal scalp EEG data are ambiguous or contradictory, PET provides a less invasive means than chronic grid or depth electrode recording for evaluating whether a localized epileptogenic area exists.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Cerebral Cortex / metabolism*
  • Cerebral Cortex / physiopathology
  • Cerebral Cortex / surgery
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Deoxyglucose / analogs & derivatives
  • Deoxyglucose / metabolism
  • Electroencephalography*
  • Epilepsy / metabolism*
  • Epilepsy / physiopathology
  • Epilepsy / surgery
  • Evoked Potentials, Somatosensory
  • Female
  • Fluorodeoxyglucose F18
  • Glucose / metabolism*
  • Humans
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging
  • Male
  • Monitoring, Physiologic
  • Thiopental
  • Tomography, Emission-Computed*
  • Tomography, X-Ray Computed


  • Fluorodeoxyglucose F18
  • Deoxyglucose
  • Glucose
  • Thiopental