The accurate diagnosis of seizures is essential as some patients will be misdiagnosed with epilepsy, whereas others will receive an incorrect diagnosis. Indeed, errors in diagnosis are common, and many patients fail to receive the correct treatment, which often has severe consequences
Imaging is pivotal in the evaluation and management of patients with seizure disorders.
Positron emission tomography (PET) is the most commonly performed interictal functional neuroimaging technique that may reveal a focal hypometabolic region concordant with seizure onset. Single photon emission computed tomography (SPECT) studies may assist the performance of ictal neuroimaging in patients with pharmacoresistant focal epilepsy being considered for neurosurgical treatment 1).
Magnetic resonance imaging
Elegant structural neuroimaging with magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) may assist in determining the etiology of focal epilepsy and demonstrating the anatomical changes associated with seizure activity. The high diagnostic yield of MRI to identify the common pathological findings in individuals with focal seizures including mesial temporal sclerosis, vascular anomalies, Low-grade glioma and malformations of cortical development has been demonstrated.
Positron emission tomography in epilepsy
Positron emission tomography (PET) imaging in epilepsy is an in vivo technique that allows the localization of a possible seizure onset zone (SOZ) during the interictal period. Stereo-electro-encephalography (SEEG) is the gold standard to define the SOZ. The objective of aresearch was to evaluate the accuracy of PET imaging in localizing the site of SOZ compared with SEEG.
Seven patients with refractory temporal lobe epilepsy (Ep) and 2 healthy controls (HC) underwent 2 PET scans, one with 2-[18F]-fluoro-2-deoxy-D-glucose (FDG) and another with 2′-[18F]fluoroflumazenil (FFMZ), acquired 1 day apart. FDG was acquired for 10 min (static scan) 1 h after administration. An FFMZ scan was acquired for 60 min from radiopharmaceutical administration in a dynamic mode. Each brain PET image was segmented using a standard template implemented in PMOD 3.8. The pons was used as the reference region for modeling of the nondisplaceable binding potential (BPND)for FFMZ, and to obtain uptake ratios for FDG. SEEG studies of patients were performed as a part of their surgical evaluation to define the SOZ.
Well-defined differences between HC and Ep were found with both radiopharmaceuticals, showing the utility to identify abnormal brain regions using quantitative PET imaging. Lateralization of the SOZ findings by PET (lower uptake/binding in a specific brain hemisphere) matched in 86% for FFMZ and 71% for FDG with SEEG data.