The effectivity of diffusion-weighted MRI methods in detecting the epileptogenic zone (EZ) was tested. Patients with refractory epilepsy (N=25) who subsequently underwent resective surgery were recruited. First, the extent of white matter (WM) asymmetry from mean kurtosis (MK) was calculated in order to detect the lobe with the strongest impairment. Second, a newly developed metric was used, reflecting a selection of brain areas with concurrently increased mean Diffusivity, reduced fractional Anisotropy, and reduced mean Kurtosis (iDrArK). A two-step EZ detection was performed as (1) lobe-specific detection, (2) iDrArK voxel-wise detection (with a possible lobe-specific restriction if the result of the first step was significant in a given subject). The method results were compared with the surgery resection zones. From the whole cohort (N=25), the numbers of patients with significant results were: 10 patients in lobe detection and 9 patients in EZ detection. From these subsets of patients with significant results, the impaired lobe was successfully detected with 100% accuracy; the EZ was successfully detected with 89% accuracy. The detection of the EZ using iDrArK was substantially more successful when compared with solo diffusional parameters (or their pairwise combinations). For a subgroup with significant results from step one (N=10), iDrArK without lobe restriction achieved 37.5% accuracy; lobe-restricted iDrArK achieved 100% accuracy. The study shows the plausibility of MK for detecting widespread WM changes and the benefit of combining different diffusional voxel-wise parameters.
© 2021. The Author(s).