Background: A substantial number of patients with brain tumors develop recurrent seizures, known as tumor-associated epilepsy. It is important to identify specific subgroups of brain tumor patients with higher incidences of epilepsy because a meta-analysis failed to certify the effectiveness of prophylactic anti-epileptic drugs (AEDs) to abort tumor-associated epilepsy as a whole.
Methods: To investigate the relationship between tumor location and incidence of epilepsy, we performed voxel-wise comparison between 3D MRI scans obtained from patients with meningioma-associated epilepsy and those from control patients using spatial normalization techniques on neuroimaging data. Variables such as age, tumor size, the degree of edema, and pathological diagnosis were also compared between the two groups.
Results: Our results showed the highest incidence of epilepsy when the tumor was located on the premotor cortex in the frontal lobe (Z-scores >2.0, Liebermeister's quasi-exact test). The stepwise multiple regression analysis on the clinical data revealed that the tumor diameter (p < 0.001) and the patient's age (p = 0.024) were positive and negative predictors, respectively, for the onset of epilepsy.
Conclusions: The incidence of epilepsy was higher in meningiomas located on the premotor cortex than on the other cortex. Larger volume also contributed to the onset of epilepsy. We suggest that variations of epilepsy incidence dependent on tumor characteristics can be considered when treating tumor-associated epilepsy.