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Eur Radiol. 2007 Jul;17(7):1663-8. Epub 2007 Jan 12.

Uncinate fasciculus fiber tracking in mesial temporal lobe epilepsy. Initial findings.

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  • 1Département d'Imagerie Morphologique et Fonctionnelle, Université Paris-Descartes, Faculté de Médecine, Centre Hospitalier Sainte-Anne, 75674 Paris, France.


In temporal lobe epilepsy (TLE) due to hippocampal sclerosis (HS), ictal discharge spread to the frontal and insulo-perisylvian cortex is commonly observed. The implication of white matter pathways in this propagation has not been investigated. We compared diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) measurements along the uncinate fasciculus (UF), a major tract connecting the frontal and temporal lobes, in patients and controls. Ten right-handed patients referred for intractable TLE due to a right HS were investigated on a 1.5-T MR scanner including a DTI sequence. All patients had interictal fluorodeoxyglucose PET showing an ipsilateral temporal hypometabolism associated with insular and frontal or perisylvian hypometabolism. The controls consisted of ten right-handed healthy subjects. UF fiber tracking was performed, and its fractional anisotropy (FA) values were compared between patients and controls, separately for the right and left UF. The left-minus-right FA UF asymmetry index was computed to test for intergroup differences. Asymmetries were found in the control group with right-greater-than-left FA. This asymmetrical pattern was lost in the patient group. Right FA values were lower in patients with right HS versus controls. Although preliminary, these findings may be related to the preferential pathway of seizure spread from the mesial temporal lobe to frontal and insulo-perisylvian areas.

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