Send to

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
Epilepsy Behav. 2009 May;15(1):50-5. doi: 10.1016/j.yebeh.2009.02.025. Epub 2009 Feb 21.

PET and SPECT in epilepsy: a critical review.

Author information

  • 1Department of Nuclear Medicine, Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich, Marchioninistrasse 15, D-81377 Munich, Germany.


Molecular imaging with ictal and interictal single-photon emission computed tomography (SPECT) as well as positron emission tomography (PET) rank among the established functional imaging tests for the presurgical evaluation of epileptic onset zone in patients with intractable partial epilepsy. In temporal lobe epilepsy the sensitivity of these methods was shown to be excellent, in particular if a multimodal platform is used, which combines the functional imaging with the additional morphological information of magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), but was lower in extra temporal lobe epilepsy. Functional imaging with SPECT and PET reflects seizure related changes of cerebral perfusion, glucose-metabolism and neuroreceptor status. In this review the usefulness of SPECT and PET imaging in clinical routine in epilepsy as well as the role of different neuroreceptor PET-tracer, which were used in epilepsy are discussed. The use of perfusion SPECT tracer allows the investigation of ictal activations, but the low temporal resolution of ictal perfusion SPECT often results in the detection of both the ictal onset zone as well as the propagation pathways, an area that has not always need to be resected in order to render a patient seizure free. The additional use of interictal PET with fluorine-18 fluorodeoxyglucose which measures regional cerebral metabolism or interictal perfusion SPECT enhance the informational value of ictal SPECT and were shown to be important tools to better define the ictal onset and surround inhibition zones. In recent years PET imaging of different cerebral neuroreceptor-systems inter alia GABA(A) receptors, serotonin receptors (5-HT(1A)), opioid receptors as well as dopamine receptors was used to investigate the neurochemical basis of epilepsy, the role of these neurotransmitters for the epileptogenesis as well as the spread of epileptic activity during seizures and partially entered in clinical routine. Currently some of these radioligands are also used to investigate new treatment approaches.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for Elsevier Science
    Loading ...
    Write to the Help Desk