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J Neurol Neurosurg Psychiatry. 1997 Sep;63(3):327-33.

Non-invasive investigations successfully select patients for temporal lobe surgery.

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  • 1Department of Neurology, The Melbourne Neuroscience Centre, The Royal Melbourne Hospital, Victoria, Australia.



There is controversy regarding the need for invasive monitoring in the preoperative assessment of patients with temporal lobe epilepsy. The use of a series of non-invasive investigations in identifying the seizure focus is reported in 75 consecutive adults referred for epilepsy surgery.


All had video-EEG monitoring using scalp electrodes, high resolution MRI, and neuropsychology assessment. Other investigations included volumetric MRI, PET, and ictal and interictal SPECT. The seizure focus was localised and surgery offered if MRI disclosed unilateral hippocampal atrophy or a foreign tissue lesion and other investigations were either concordant or not discordant.


In 68 patients the seizure focus was localised and three patients were inoperable. Sixty five patients have been offered surgery and 50 have undergone temporal lobe surgery and have a follow up of at least 12 months (mean 24 months). All had pathology: hippocampal sclerosis 34, dysembryoblastic neuroepithelial tumour six, cavernoma four, dysplasia two, low grade glioma two, ganglioglioma two. Thirty nine patients (78%) are seizure free postoperatively, 29/34 with hippocampal sclerosis and 10/16 with a foreign tissue lesion. Of the 11 patients with postoperative recurrent seizures, eight have a >90% reduction in seizure frequency and three have <90% reduction in seizure frequency but a worthwhile improvement.


Non-invasive investigations successfully select most patients for temporal lobe surgery.

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