Magnetic Resonance Imaging Findings and Their Association with Electroencephalogram Data in Children with Partial Epilepsy

Cureus. 2020 May 2;12(5):e7922. doi: 10.7759/cureus.7922.


Background It is important to identify the neuroimaging features that are associated with partial epilepsy in children. Advances in technology have recently been made to localize focal epileptogenic lesions, especially high-resolution structural imaging with magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). The recommendation that electroencephalography (EEG) should be the gold standard and that MRI should be optional has been questioned. The present study aims to evaluate the efficacy of MRI in children with partial epilepsy and to compare the diagnostic yields of MRI and EEG data. Methods The present study was conducted among one hundred twelve 1- to 6-year-old children with partial epilepsy. All patients underwent EEG and brain MRI. The epileptogenic lesions were identified on the basis of the signal intensities and morphological abnormalities seen on MRI. The correlation between MRI and EEG abnormal findings was analyzed using a chi-square test. Results Abnormal MRI findings were present in 34.8% (n = 39) of the sample. The EEG and MRI data agreed with respect to classifications into abnormal or normal in 48.2% of the sample (n = 54). Of the 27 patients with normal EEG findings, six (22.2%) had abnormal MRI findings. Inter-rater agreement showed the compatibility between EEG and MRI not significant (weighted Kappa = 0.105). Conclusion A number of MRI abnormalities were found in our study of otherwise normal children, although the correlation between these results was not clear. The follow-up of these children will help us identify the important abnormalities. Despite the small sample size, our results showed that normal EEG findings do not predict normal brain MRI data in children with partial epilepsy.

Keywords: electroencephalography (eeg); magnetic resonance imaging (mri); partial epilepsy.