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Epilepsia. 2005 Dec;46(12):1988-92.

Taylor-type focal cortical dysplasia in infants: some MRI lesions almost disappear with maturation of myelination.

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Institute of Child Health, University College London, United Kingdom.


Identification of focal cortical dysplasia (FCD) on magnetic resonance (MR) images of young children with refractory focal epilepsy is important, as surgical resection may offer improvement of seizure control and subsequent developmental progress. However, the MR appearances of malformations of cortical development may change during brain maturation. We report 4 children with refractory focal epilepsy, whose MR images in infancy showed localized cortical and subcortical signal abnormalities (hypointense on T(2)-weighted and hyperintense on T(1)-weighted images), suggestive of abnormal cortical development. The visibility of these lesions was significantly reduced on later MR images. Subtle blurring of the gray-white matter junction in these areas was the only indicator of cortical abnormality in 3 patients, which was recognized only after comparison with earlier images. Taylor-type FCD was subsequently confirmed in all patients, following surgical cortical resection of the lesions. MR images performed early within the first year of life in children with epilepsy are important to identify areas of FCD. The appearances of FCD on later scans can be very subtle escaping recognition, and conclusions may be misleading with respect to diagnosis and appropriateness of surgical treatment.

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