Clinical correlations with hippocampal atrophy

Magn Reson Imaging. 1995;13(8):1133-6. doi: 10.1016/0730-725x(95)02023-m.


There is now a consensus that magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) is a sensitive and specific indicator of mesial temporal sclerosis (MTS) in patients with partial epilepsy. MTS is the most common pathological finding underlying the epileptogenic zone in patients undergoing temporal lobe surgery for medically refractory partial seizures. MRI-based hippocampal volumetric studies (i.e., quantitative MRI), has been shown to provide objective evidence for hippocampal atrophy in patients with MTS. The hippocampal volume in the epileptic temporal lobe has correlated with the neuronal cell densities in selected hippocampal subfields. A history of febrile seizures in childhood and age of unprovoked seizure onset have been associated with MRI-based hippocampal volumetry. There is conflicting evidence regarding the relationship between the duration of the seizure disorder and volumetry. Quantitative MRI has compared favorably to other noninvasive techniques (e.g., scalp-recorded EEG), in indicating the diagnosis of medical temporal lobe epilepsy (MTLE). MRI-identified hippocampal atrophy has also been a favorable prognostic indicator of seizure outcome after temporal lobe surgery. The presence of hippocampal atrophy appears to serve an in vivo surrogate for the presence of MTS.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Atrophy
  • Brain Mapping
  • Dominance, Cerebral / physiology
  • Epilepsies, Partial / pathology*
  • Epilepsy, Temporal Lobe / pathology*
  • Hippocampus / pathology*
  • Humans
  • Image Processing, Computer-Assisted
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging*
  • Reference Values
  • Sclerosis