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J Epilepsy Res. 2013 Dec 30;3(2):43-7. doi: 10.14581/jer.13009. eCollection 2013 Dec.

Focal cortical dysplasia and epilepsy surgery.

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Department of Neurology, Seoul National University College of Medicine, Seoul;
Department of Neurology, Konkuk University College of Medicine, Seoul, Korea.


Focal cortical dysplasia (FCD) is the most commonly encountered developmental malformation that causes refractory epilepsy. With advances in neuroimaging techniques, in particular MRI, recent studies have revealed a higher prevalence of FCD than previously estimated and have improved the preoperative identification and classification of these abnormalities. However, MRI frequently does not show any abnormalities in patients with pathologically proven FCD. In this situation, functional neuroimaing such as FDG-PET and ictal SPECT can be helpful. FCD is thought to be intrinsically epileptogenic, because the dysplastic tissues contain aberrant neural networks that are highly susceptible to abnormal excitation. The response to the medical treatment of epilepsy has been documented as consistently poor. Therefore, surgical resection has been an important alternative treatment for patients with intractable epilepsy related to FCD. Incomplete resection of FCD has been consistently known to be a poor prognostic factor. However, the complete removal of FCD is often difficult because the demarcation of the lesion is frequently poor, and dysplastic tissues tend to be more extensive than is apparent on MRI. Evidence indicates that even patients with MRI abnormalities who have resective epilepsy surgery for FCD have worse surgical outcomes than those of patients who have surgery for other focal lesional epilepsy syndromes. Careful planning of evelauation using intracranial electrodes is necessary for successful epilepsy surgery.


Epilepsy; Focal cortical dysplasia; Surger

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