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Neurology. 1998 Jul;51(1):61-6.

Proton magnetic resonance spectroscopy in MRI-negative temporal lobe epilepsy.

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  • 1Radiology and Physics Unit, Institute of Child Health, University College London Medical School, and Great Ormond Street Hospital for Children, UK.



To determine the 1H MRS findings in patients with intractable temporal lobe epilepsy (TLE) who had no detectable abnormality on either qualitative or quantitative MRI.


Previous work has indicated that approximately 20% of patients with TLE remain MRI negative after extensive qualitative and quantitative investigation. Single-voxel 1H MRS provides a means of identifying potentially diffuse disease.


Seven patients with intractable TLE, normal routine MRI, normal hippocampal volumes, and normal hippocampal and amygdala quantitative T2 values underwent single-voxel 1H MRS of the medial temporal lobes. The results are compared with those from 13 control subjects and 15 patients with evidence of hippocampal sclerosis (HS).


The ratio N-acetylaspartate/(choline-creatine + phosphocreatine) was abnormally low in five of the seven MRI-negative patients. In two of these patients, the ratios were low bilaterally. The observed MRS ratios in the MRI-negative group with abnormal EEG were similar to those from temporal lobes ipsilateral to HS, suggesting the presence of widespread or diffuse disease of a similar degree in both groups.


These results demonstrate that MRS can provide evidence of temporal lobe abnormalities in TLE patients who show no abnormality on extensive MRI investigation.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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