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Epilepsy Behav. 2006 Feb;8(1):91-101. Epub 2006 Jan 10.

The role of FDG-PET, ictal SPECT, and MEG in the epilepsy surgery evaluation.

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  • 1UAB Epilepsy Center, Department of Neurology, University of Alabama at Birmingham School of Medicine, Birmingham, AL, USA.


2-[18F]Fluoro-2-deoxy-d-glucose positron emission tomography (FDG-PET), ictal single-photon-emission computed tomography (ictal SPECT), and magnetoencephalography (MEG) represent three established functional imaging tests that offer unique information toward the localization of epilepsy for surgery evaluation and treatment. When these tests are combined with high-resolution magnetic fresonance imaging (MRI), epilepsy related structure and function disturbances may be localized with a degree of confidence and understanding not possible with electroencephalography (EEG), even ictal recordings with intracranial electrodes, the mainstay of tools for seizure localization. Use of these alternative tests allows an increased percentage of patients to be considered for surgical treatment. In particular, the additional information provided by these techniques has been demonstrated to help those patients with nonlocalizing MRI or extratemporal lobe epilepsy. Studies that address optimal use of these tests (alone and in combination) will build toward the next major advancement in the surgical treatment of epilepsy by allowing better patient selection, less risk, and better surgical outcomes. Ultimately, appropriate use of these tests, combined with more comprehensive functional brain mapping (e.g., with MEG or functional MRI), may lead to completely noninvasive epilepsy surgery evaluation.

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