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Epilepsy Res. 2000 Jun;40(1):53-61.

Decreased cerebral blood flow during seizures with ictal SPECT injections.

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  • 1Departments of Diagnostic Radiology, Yale University School of Medicine, Box 208042, New Haven, CT, USA.


Increased regional cerebral blood flow (rCBF) at the epileptogenic site has been consistently reported for single photon emission computed tomography (SPECT) injections made during seizure activity, and the increased rCBF has been shown to remain elevated at the epileptogenic site in some cases, even when SPECT injections are made after seizure termination (postictal). A sustained increase in rCBF after seizure cessation was recently confirmed, but for no more than 100 s from seizure onset [Avery, R.A., Spencer, S.S., Spanaki, M.V., Corsi, M., Seibyl, J.P., Zubal, I.G., 1999. Effect of injection time on postictal SPET perfusion changes in medically refractory epilepsy. Eur. J. Nucl. Med. 26, 830-836]. In the current study, it is examined whether ictal SPECT injections demonstrate a similar change in rCBF around 100 s from seizure onset. Twenty-one patients with medically refractory epilepsy and a known area of seizure onset receiving ictal and interictal 99mTc-Hexamethyl-propyleneamineoxime (HMPAO) SPECT scans were studied. The results of SPECT subtraction analysis which visualize increased and decreased rCBF were compared to seizure duration and HMPAO injection time. Five patients received ictal SPECT injections (during ongoing seizure activity) more than 90 s after seizure onset and demonstrated decreased rCBF. Two of these patients also demonstrated areas of increased rCBF. Decreased rCBF was localized to the epileptogenic lobe in four of the five patients. By examining ictal SPECT injections made 90 s after seizure onset, evidence was found that reduced rCBF may exist during ictus. The change in rCBF around 90 s is also observed in postictal injections, suggesting a common metabolic mechanism may be responsible.

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