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Epilepsia. 2000;41 Suppl 3:S48-54.

Integration of EEG, MRI, and SPECT in localizing the seizure focus for epilepsy surgery.

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  • 1Electroencephalography and Epilepsy, Mayo Clinic and Mayo Medical School, Rochester, Minnesota 55905, USA.


Several modalities are now available for detecting the structural and the functional abnormalities of a seizure focus. This article discusses the principles and techniques that can be used to integrate the data derived from different test modalities in delineating the seizure focus in epilepsy surgery candidates. An approach in integrating EEG, MRI, and SPECT abnormalities is described to demonstrate how the spatial relationships among them can be precisely determined by coregistering images of the abnormalities on the MRI. The recently developed technique of subtraction ictal SPECT coregistered to MRI (SISCOM) can reveal a discrete hyperperfusion focus with its relationship to the cerebral anatomy. The SISCOM focus can also serve as a target for intracranial electrode implantation and for subsequent surgical resection. This can be achieved by using a computer-based system of relating the image space to the surgical field. The limitations of each test in localizing the surgical seizure focus must be recognized when the value of each test is interpreted relative to those of other tests. In many patients, not all tests will show localizing abnormalities, and the foci determined by different tests may be incongruent. When the location of the focus is not compatible with the possible origin of the patient's habitual seizures, further evaluation with other tests, including intracranial EEG recordings, is necessary. The decision in determining which tests and how many to employ for localizing the surgical focus must be individualized for each patient.

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