Neuroimaging of epilepsy

Handb Clin Neurol. 2016;136:985-1014. doi: 10.1016/B978-0-444-53486-6.00051-X.


Imaging is pivotal in the evaluation and management of patients with seizure disorders. Elegant structural neuroimaging with magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) may assist in determining the etiology of focal epilepsy and demonstrating the anatomical changes associated with seizure activity. The high diagnostic yield of MRI to identify the common pathological findings in individuals with focal seizures including mesial temporal sclerosis, vascular anomalies, low-grade glial neoplasms and malformations of cortical development has been demonstrated. Positron emission tomography (PET) is the most commonly performed interictal functional neuroimaging technique that may reveal a focal hypometabolic region concordant with seizure onset. Single photon emission computed tomography (SPECT) studies may assist performance of ictal neuroimaging in patients with pharmacoresistant focal epilepsy being considered for neurosurgical treatment. This chapter highlights neuroimaging developments and innovations, and provides a comprehensive overview of the imaging strategies used to improve the care and management of people with epilepsy.

Keywords: 18F-fluorodeoxyglucose–positron emission tomography (18F-FDG-PET); Epilepsy; computed tomography (CT); drug-resistant focal epilepsy; ictal single photon emission computed tomography (SPECT); magnetic resonance imaging (MRI); surgical treatment of epilepsy.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Electroencephalography
  • Epilepsy / diagnostic imaging*
  • Humans
  • Image Processing, Computer-Assisted
  • Neuroimaging*