Display Settings:


Send to:

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
Nat Rev Neurol. 2010 Oct;6(10):537-50. doi: 10.1038/nrneurol.2010.131. Epub 2010 Sep 14.

Imaging in the surgical treatment of epilepsy.

Author information

  • National Society for Epilepsy, Department of Clinical and Experimental Epilepsy, University College London Institute of Neurology, Queen Square, London, UK. j.duncan@ion.ucl.ac.uk


Medically refractory focal epilepsy is potentially curable by surgery. This Review considers the application of recent advances in structural and functional brain imaging to increase the number of patients with epilepsy who are treated surgically, and to reduce the risk of complications arising from such intervention. Current optimal MRI of brain structure can identify previously undetectable lesions, with voxel-based and quantitative analyses further increasing the diagnostic yield. If MRI proves unremarkable, PET (with (18)F-fluorodeoxyglucose) and single-photon emission CT of ictal-interictal cerebral blood flow might identify the brain region that contains the epileptic focus. Magnetoencephalography plus simultaneous EEG and functional MRI can map the location of interictal epileptic discharges, thereby facilitating placement of intracranial recording electrodes to define the site of seizure onset. Functional MRI can also lateralize language and localize primary motor, somatosensory and language areas, and shows promise for predicting the effects of temporal lobe resection on memory. Tractography can visualize the main cerebral white matter tracts, thereby predicting and reducing surgery risk. Currently, displays of the optic radiation and pyramidal tracts are the most relevant for epilepsy surgery. Reliable integration of structural and functional data into surgical image-guidance systems is being pursued, and promises safer neurosurgery for epilepsy in the future.

Comment in

  • Imaging epilepsy with SISCOM. [Nat Rev Neurol. 2011]
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Icon for Nature Publishing Group
    Loading ...
    Write to the Help Desk