Purpose: Magnetic resonance imaging, interictal scalp EEG, and ictal scalp EEG each have been shown to localize the primary epileptic region in most patients with mesial-basal temporal lobe epilepsy (MBTLE), but the association of surgical outcome and pathology with each combination of these test results is not known.
Methods: We reviewed the MRI, interictal scalp EEG, and ictal scalp EEG results of 90 consecutive patients with MBTLE. Twelve patients were excluded from the analysis because inconclusive bitemporal intracranial EEG results precluded anterior temporal lobectomy (ATL); none had concordant MRI and interictal scalp EEG results. We compared all combinations of presurgical MRI, interictal EEG, and ictal EEG results to seizure outcome and tissue pathology in the 78 patients who underwent an ATL.
Results: Forty-eight (61%) patients had concordant lateralized MRI and interictal EEG temporal lobe abnormalities, with no discordant ictal EEG results; 77% of these patients were seizure-free after ATL. Concordance of MRI and interictal EEG abnormalities correlated with seizure cessation (p < 0.05), compared to all combinations with discordant or nonlateralizing MRI and interictal EEG results. Mesial temporal sclerosis (MTS) was confirmed pathologically in about 80% of both groups (p = 0.5). Outcome in patients with concordant MRI and ictal EEG with nonlateralizing interictal EEG was significantly worse than combinations with concordant MRI and interictal EEG (p < 0.02).
Conclusions: Compared to other combinations of test results, concordance of MRI and interictal EEG is most closely associated with surgical outcome in MBTLE. However, most selected patients have pathologic confirmation of MTS regardless of test results or outcome. This information may be useful for planning the presurgical evaluation of patients with medically intractable MBTLE.