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Epilepsy Res. 2008 Jul;80(1):30-41. doi: 10.1016/j.eplepsyres.2008.03.011. Epub 2008 Apr 23.

Diffusion tensor analysis of temporal and extra-temporal lobe tracts in temporal lobe epilepsy.

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  • 1Carman and Ann Adams Department of Pediatrics, Children's Hospital of Michigan, Detroit Medical Center, Wayne State University, Detroit, MI, USA.



To determine whether the major temporal lobe white matter tracts in patients with temporal lobe epilepsy manifest abnormal water diffusion properties.


Diffusion tensor MRI measurements were obtained from tractography for uncinate, arcuate, inferior longitudinal fasciculi and corticospinal tract in 13 children with left temporal lobe epilepsy and normal conventional MRI, and the data were compared to measurements in 12 age-matched normal volunteers. The relationship between tensor parameters and duration of epilepsy was also determined.


All four tracts in the affected left hemisphere showed lower mean anisotropy, planar and linear indices, but higher spherical index in patients versus controls. Diffusion changes in the left uncinate and arcuate fasciculus correlated significantly with duration of epilepsy. Arcuate fasciculus showed a reversal of the normal left-right asymmetry. Various diffusion abnormalities were also seen in the four tracts studied in the right hemisphere.


Our findings indicate abnormal water diffusion in temporal lobe and extra-temporal lobe tracts with robust changes in the direction perpendicular to the axons. Diffusion abnormalities associated with duration of epilepsy suggest progressive changes in ipsilateral uncinate and arcuate fasciculus due to chronic seizure activity. Finally, our results in arcuate fasciculus are consistent with language reorganization to the contralateral right hemisphere.

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