Application of MRI Post-processing in Presurgical Evaluation of Non-lesional Cingulate Epilepsy

Front Neurol. 2018 Nov 27;9:1013. doi: 10.3389/fneur.2018.01013. eCollection 2018.


Background and Purpose: Surgical management of patients with cingulate epilepsy (CE) is highly challenging, especially when the MRI is non-lesional. We aimed to use a voxel-based MRI post-processing technique, implemented in a morphometric analysis program (MAP), to facilitate detection of subtle epileptogenic lesions in CE, thereby improving surgical evaluation of patients with CE with non-lesional MRI by visual inspection. Methods: Included in this retrospective study were 9 patients with CE (6 with negative 3T MRI and 3 with subtly lesional 3T MRI) who underwent surgery and became seizure-free or had marked seizure improvement with at least 1-year follow-up. MRI post-processing was applied to pre-surgical T1-weighted volumetric sequence using MAP. The MAP finding was then coregistered and compared with other non-invasive imaging tests (FDG-PET, SPECT and MEG), intracranial EEG ictal onset, surgery location and histopathology. Results: Single MAP+ abnormalities were found in 6 patients, including 3 patients with negative MRI, and 3 patients with subtly lesional MRI. Out of these 6 MAP+ patients, 4 patients became seizure-free after complete resection of the MAP+ abnormalities; 2 patients didn't become seizure-free following laser ablation that only partially overlapped with the MAP+ abnormalities. All MAP+ foci were concordant with intracranial EEG ictal onset (when performed). The localization value of FDG-PET, SPECT and MEG was limited in this cohort. FCD was identified in all patients' surgical pathology except for two cases of laser ablation with no tissue available. Conclusion: MAP provided helpful information for identifying subtle epileptogenic abnormalities in patients with non-lesional cingulate epilepsy. MRI postprocessing should be considered to add to the presurgical evaluation test battery of non-lesional cingulate epilepsy.

Keywords: MRI post-processing; cingulate; epilepsy; focal cortical dysplasia; non-lesional; surgery.