Abnormal white matter on diffusion tensor imaging in children with new-onset seizures

Epilepsy Res. 2013 Mar;104(1-2):105-11. doi: 10.1016/j.eplepsyres.2012.10.007. Epub 2012 Nov 19.


The aim of this study was to use whole brain quantitative analysis to identify impaired white matter (WM) integrity using diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) in children with new-onset seizures. Thirty-five children with new-onset seizures and normal MRI were recruited. Twelve patients had generalized seizures, and 23 had partial seizures. Thirty-one healthy controls were also recruited. Whole brain fractional anisotropy (FA), apparent diffusion coefficient (ADC), radial diffusivity (RD) and axial diffusivity (AD) maps of patients were compared to controls, corrected for multiple comparisons. There was significantly reduced FA in left postcentral, elevated RD in left posterior cingulum and right external capsule, elevated AD in left middle temporal WM and left thalamus, and reduced AD in left anterior cingulum, left temporal, and right supramarginal WM in patients relative to controls. Patients with partial epilepsy showed elevated RD in bilateral posterior cingulum, increased AD in left middle frontal, reduced AD in left temporal, right parietal and right supramarginal WM. Patients with generalized epilepsy showed increased AD in right cerebellum, and reduced AD in left anterior cingulum and left middle temporal WM. The findings indicate that impaired WM integrity with abnormal myelin and axons is present in children with new-onset seizures.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Child
  • Diffusion Tensor Imaging / methods*
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Nerve Fibers, Myelinated / metabolism
  • Nerve Fibers, Myelinated / pathology*
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Seizures / metabolism
  • Seizures / pathology*