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Epilepsy Res. 2002 Jan;48(1-2):131-42.

Measurement of temporal lobe T2 relaxation times using a routine diagnostic MR imaging protocol in epilepsy.

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Institute of Radiology and Interventional Diagnostics, Thevdore Mgvdeli street 13, 380012 Tbilisi, Georgia.



To determine the applicability of a fast spin-echo (FSE) pulse sequence for T2 relaxation time measurements in diagnostic imaging of temporal lobe epilepsy (TLE) and in epilepsy research. To compare FSE T2-relaxometry to the measurements with multi-echo sequence and visual assessment of MR scans.


MR imaging and T2 relaxometry was performed with widely used 1.5 T scanner only. Fast dual-echo sequence (TE-14/85 ms) and multi-echo pulse sequence were used for T2 measurements. Normal ranges of T2 values in regions of interest in temporal lobe were estimated in 20 healthy controls. Sixty-five patients with intractable focal epilepsy were studied. Fifty-five patients had TLE, three multilobar focal epilepsy and seven extratemporal focal epilepsy.


T2 measurements with the FSE showed good reproducibility in the test objects and control subjects. In one TLE case unilateral focal T2 changes were not identified visually. T2-relaxometry was more sensitive than visual inspection of MR scans in assessing bilateral hippocampal changes: there were 15 cases with abnormal bilateral T2 values. Visually bilateral changes were detected in six out of these 15 cases (40%). In six cases (40%) only unilateral changes were diagnosed visually, and in three cases (20%) bilateral changes were classified as probable with qualitative evaluation. T2 relaxation time measurement supplied additional objective data in cases with ambiguous hippocampal changes on visual assessment: T2-relaxometry confirmed hippocampal abnormalities in seven cases judged visually as probable. In four cases with the suspicion of hippocampal changes T2 values appeared to be normal.


In TLE patients, images constructed from FSE sequences can be used to estimate T2 relaxation times easily and reliably. T2 measurements are an objective method to diagnose structural changes in the temporal lobe. T2-relaxometry is most helpful to assess bilateral hippocampal abnormalities, and thus might have an impact on estimating postsurgical outcome.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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