Functional imaging: PET

Handb Clin Neurol. 2013:111:767-76. doi: 10.1016/B978-0-444-52891-9.00079-8.


Among various neuroimaging techniques used for the evaluation of children with intractable epilepsy, positron emission tomography (PET) employing various PET tracers plays a very important role, especially in localizing areas of focal cortical dysplasia. This is particularly important in infants, where incomplete myelination may limit the structural information provided by MRI. In children with tuberous sclerosis, PET can differentiate between epileptogenic and nonepileptogenic tubers, previously not thought to be possible with neuroimaging. PET may reveal cortical or subcortical abnormalities in various epilepsy syndromes, such as infantile spasms and Landau-Kleffner syndrome. Various other applications of PET have included the investigation of epileptic networks, secondary epileptic foci, dual pathology, and neuroinflammation. Finally, PET can also be used to evaluate various cognitive processes and their underlying neurological substrates and can help in addressing the issue of brain plasticity and reorganization, related to epilepsy.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Brain / diagnostic imaging*
  • Brain / pathology
  • Epilepsy / diagnosis
  • Epilepsy / diagnostic imaging*
  • Humans
  • Positron-Emission Tomography*