The epilepsies: Complex challenges needing complex solutions
PURPOSE To characterize perfusion patterns of periictal single-photon emission tomography (SPECT) in patients with unilateral temporal lobe epilepsy (TLE) and to determine their relationship to the epileptogenic zone (EZ). METHODS We studied periictal SPECT scans of 53 patients after anterior mesial temporal lobectomy who had good seizure outcome after surgery. Ictal SPECT scans were performed during video-EEG monitoring. Typical SPECT patterns consisted of ipsilateral ictal hyperperfusion or ipsilateral postictal hypoperfusion. Atypical ictal patterns included normal scans, bilateral temporal hyperperfusion, or contralateral patterns. These perfusion patterns were retrospectively analyzed searching for concordance rate with the EZ. RESULTS We obtained 51 ictal and two early postictal scans. In the typical group, 40 (75.4%) patients had ipsilateral ictal temporal lobe hyperperfusion, and one (1.9%) patient had ipsilateral postictal temporal lobe hypoperfusion. Twelve (22.7%) patients exhibited atypical perfusion patterns: seven (13.2%) patients had bitemporal ictal hyperperfusion (four cases showed asymmetric temporal lobe changes), four (7.6%) patients had contralateral hyperperfusion, and one (1.9%) patient had a normal SPECT scan. All four patients with bitemporal asymmetric hyperperfusions showed greater perfusion lateralized to the side of the EZ. Three of the four patients who had contralateral hyperperfusion also had a complex postictal-like pattern in the ipsilateral temporal lobe consisting of anteromesial hyperperfusion with adjacent lateral hypoperfusion. CONCLUSIONS This study analyzed typical and atypical perfusion patterns in unilateral TLE, and suggested that not only typical, but also some atypical perfusion patterns may contribute to the lateralization of EZ.