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Epilepsia. 2000 Mar;41(3):282-9.

Chemical shift imaging spectroscopy and memory function in temporal lobe epilepsy.

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Department of Neurology, University of Erlangen-Nuernberg, Germany.



Hippocampal neuron loss and associated memory deficits are characteristic of intractable temporal lobe epilepsy (TLE). Proton chemical shift imaging (CSI) spectroscopy is a sensitive tool for detecting neuronal loss. The aim of this study was to investigate the correlation between memory functions and results provided by CSI spectroscopy of the hippocampal structures.


Ten patients with cryptogenic TLE participated. The study protocol involved both the acquisition of high-spatial-resolution CSI spectroscopy and neuropsychological evaluation, including memory testing and intracarotid sodium amytal test (IAT). The analysis of the CSI data was based on normative data obtained in 30 healthy volunteers. Memory functions were represented by verbal, visual, and general memory indices.


A significant correlation was found between CSI spectroscopy of the hippocampal formation and the verbal memory indices for the dominant hemisphere. In addition, there was a significant correspondence of the qualitative judgment "hippocampal pathology indicated by CSI spectroscopy" and both "material specific memory deficit" and "memory deficit in the IAT."


Our results demonstrate that CSI spectroscopy of the hippocampal structures is strongly related to lateralized memory deficits in patients with TLE. This suggests that CSI spectroscopy may be useful in the prediction of postoperative outcome in respect of seizure control and memory.

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