Temporal lobe epilepsy subtypes: differential patterns of cerebral perfusion on ictal SPECT

Epilepsia. 1996 Aug;37(8):788-95. doi: 10.1111/j.1528-1157.1996.tb00653.x.


Purpose: We studied cerebral perfusion patterns in the various subtypes of TLE, as determined by pathology and good outcome after temporal lobectomy (as confirmation of temporal origin).

Methods: We studied clinical features and ictal technetium 99m hexamethyl-propyleneamineoxime (99mTc-HM-PAO) single-photon emission-computed tomography (SPECT) in four subgroups of patients with intractable temporal lobe epilepsy (TLE) treated with surgery: hippocampal sclerosis (group 1, n = 10), foreign-tissue lesion in mesial temporal lobe (group 2, n = 8), foreign-tissue lesion in lateral temporal lobe (group 3, n = 7), and normal temporal lobe tissue with good surgical outcome (group 4, n = 5).

Results: No major clinical differences in auras, complex partial seizures or postictal states were identified among the groups. Ictal SPECT showed distinct patterns of cerebral perfusion in these subtypes of TLE. In groups 1 and 2, hyperperfusion was seen in the ipsilateral mesial and lateral temporal regions. In group 3, hyperperfusion was seen bilaterally in the temporal lobes with predominant changes in the region of the lesion. Hyperperfusion was restricted to the ipsilateral anteromesial temporal region in group 4. Ipsilateral temporal hyperperfusion in mesial onset seizures can be explained by known anatomic projections between mesial structures and ipsilateral temporal neocortex. Bilateral temporal hyperperfusion in lateral onset seizures can be explained by the presence of anterior commissural connections between lateral temporal neocortex and the contralateral amygdala.

Conclusions: We conclude that the perfusion patterns seen on ictal SPECT are helpful for subclassification of temporal lobe seizures, whereas clinical features are relatively unhelpful. These perfusion patterns provide an insight into preferential pathways of seizure propagation in the subtypes of TLE.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Child
  • Epilepsy, Temporal Lobe / classification*
  • Epilepsy, Temporal Lobe / diagnostic imaging*
  • Epilepsy, Temporal Lobe / surgery
  • Female
  • Functional Laterality
  • Humans
  • Middle Aged
  • Organotechnetium Compounds
  • Oximes
  • Regional Blood Flow
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Technetium Tc 99m Exametazime
  • Temporal Lobe / blood supply
  • Temporal Lobe / diagnostic imaging*
  • Temporal Lobe / surgery
  • Tomography, Emission-Computed, Single-Photon*
  • Treatment Outcome


  • Organotechnetium Compounds
  • Oximes
  • Technetium Tc 99m Exametazime