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Epilepsia. 2009 Feb;50(2):234-9. doi: 10.1111/j.1528-1167.2008.01789.x. Epub 2008 Sep 17.

18F-FCWAY and 18F-FDG PET in MRI-negative temporal lobe epilepsy.

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  • 1Clinical Epilepsy Section, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, Maryland 20892, USA.



Positron emission tomography (PET) with (18)F-fluorodeoxyglucose (FDG) shows widespread hypometabolism even in temporal lobe epilepsy (TLE) patients with mesial temporal foci. (18)F-trans-4-fluoro-N-2-[4-(2-methoxyphenyl) piperazin-1-yl]ethyl-N-(2-pyridyl)cyclohexane carboxamide ((18)F-FCWAY) PET may show more specific 5-HT(1A)-receptor binding reduction in seizure initiation than in propagation regions. (18)FCWAY PET might be valuable for detecting epileptic foci, and distinguishing mesial from lateral temporal foci in MRI-negative patients with TLE.


We performed (18)F-FCWAY-PET and (18)F-FDG-PET in 12 MRI-negative TLE patients who had had either surgery or subdural electrode recording, and 15 healthy volunteers. After partial volume correction for brain atrophy, free fraction-corrected volume of distribution (V/f1) measurement and asymmetry indices (AIs) were computed. We compared (18)F-FCWAY-PET and (18)F-FDG-PET results with scalp video electroencephalography (EEG), invasive EEG, and surgical outcome.


Mean (18)F-FCWAY V/f1, compared with normal controls, was decreased significantly in fusiform gyrus, hippocampus, and parahippocampus ipsilateral to epileptic foci, and AIs were significantly greater in hippocampus, parahippocampus, fusiform gyrus, amygdala, and inferior temporal regions. Eleven patients had clearly lateralized epileptogenic zones. Nine had congruent, and two nonlateralized, (18)F-FCWAY PET. One patient with bitemporal seizure onset had nonlateralized (18)F-FCWAY-PET. (18)F-FDG-PET showed congruent hypometabolism in 7 of 11 EEG-lateralized patients, bilateral hypometabolic regions in one, contralateral hypometabolism in one, as well as lateralized hypometabolism in the patient with bitemporal subdural seizure onset. Patients with mesial temporal foci tended to have lower superior and midtemporal (18)F-FCWAY V/f1 binding AI than those with lateral or diffuse foci.


(18)F-FCWAY-PET can detect reduced binding in patients with normal MRI, and may be more accurate than (18)F-FDG-PET.

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