In this preliminary study, we aimed to investigate the abnormalities of water diffusion in children with temporal lobe epilepsy (TLE). Eight children with unilateral TLE (according to electroencephalography, EEG) and eight age- and sex-matched controls were recruited. Diffusion tensor imaging (DTI)/diffusional kurtosis imaging (DKI) acquisitions were performed. Radial diffusivity (λ(⊥)), axial diffusivity (λ(∥)), mean diffusivity (MD) and fractional anisotropy (FA) maps were calculated for both DTI and DKI, and radial kurtosis (K(⊥)), axial kurtosis (K(∥)) and mean kurtosis (MK) maps were calculated for DKI only. Mann-Whitney test showed that, for white matter in the temporal lobe, DKI-derived λ(∥) , MD and K(∥) were significantly different in bilateral temporal lobes and EEG-abnormal and EEG-normal sides of the temporal lobe between patients and controls, whereas DTI showed no abnormalities. For gray matter, DKI detected significantly higher MD and MK in the same three comparisons, whereas DTI detected abnormalities only in the comparison between bilateral temporal lobes and between EEG-normal sides in cases and left-right matched sides in controls. No significant difference was observed between EEG-abnormal and EEG-normal sides in cases. These preliminary results indicate that DKI is more sensitive than DTI for the detection of diffusion abnormalities in the temporal lobes of children with TLE, even when EEG signals are normal. These findings pave the way for the application of DKI for in-depth studies on TLE in children.
Copyright © 2012 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.