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Semin Neurol. 2008 Sep;28(4):523-32. doi: 10.1055/s-0028-1083687. Epub 2008 Oct 8.

Neuroimaging in epilepsy: diagnostic strategies in partial epilepsy.

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Mayo Clinic College of Medicine, 200 First Street SW, Rochester, MN 55905, USA.


The diagnostic evaluation of the patient with partial or localization-related epilepsy is designed to identify treatment strategies that will permit the individual to be seizure-free. The use of magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) has been pivotal in elucidating the presence of an epileptogenic pathological alteration that may coexist with the site of seizure onset. There are compelling data that MRI is of significant diagnostic and prognostic importance in patients with partial epilepsy. Patients with MRI-negative partial epilepsy may be candidates for additional neuroimaging techniques including positron emission tomography, MR spectroscopy, and single photon emission tomography. Contemporary innovations with peri-ictal imaging may allow identification of the epileptogenic zone in patients with normal MRI scans. This discussion will focus on the management of the adult patient with seizures and epilepsy, emphasizing the neuroimaging evaluation and treatment of patients with medically refractory seizure disorders.

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