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Epilepsy Res. 2006 Jul;70(1):49-58. Epub 2006 May 2.

Dystrophic neuritic processes in epileptic cortex.

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  • 1Division of Pathology at the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, Department of Pathology at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine, Philadelphia, PA 19104, USA.

Abstract

Cortical dysplasia is a frequent finding in cortical resections from children with refractory epilepsy. Diagnostic criteria and a classification scheme for cortical dysplasia has been proposed, though the relationship between specific cortical dysplasia features and their causal relationship with epilepsy is poorly understood. We reviewed 28 surgical resections from children and identified a common and easily recognized feature of cortical dysplasia: maloriented, misshapen and occasionally coarse neurofilament stained process forming a dystrophic neuritic background. The dystrophic neuritic background was associated with other features of cortical dysplasia in all 28 patients with cortical dysplasia, 26 with refractory epilepsy and 2 patients with other neurologic diagnoses. In seven children with refractory epilepsy due to other pathologic diagnosis such as vascular or glial lesions, the dystrophic neuritic background was only found in one patient with a ganglioglioma and other features suggestive of an associated cortical dysplasia. Our data indicate that a dystrophic neuritic background is a common and relatively specific neuropathologic finding in cortical dysplasia.

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