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Neurology. 1998 Aug;51(2):472-9.

Lateralization of human temporal lobe epilepsy by 31P NMR spectroscopic imaging at 4.1 T.

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  • 1Center for NMR Research and Development, University of Alabama at Birmingham, 35294-0006, USA.



To compare the phosphorous metabolite ratios in the mesial temporal lobe of healthy volunteers (n = 20) with the corresponding ratios in patients with temporal lobe epilepsy (n = 30) using 31P NMR spectroscopic imaging and to lateralize the seizure focus in temporal lobe epilepsy patients using various phosphorous metabolite ratios-phosphocreatine to inorganic phosphate (PCr/Pi), PCr to adenosine triphosphate (PCr/gamma-ATP), and (gamma-ATP/Pi)--and to compare with clinical lateralization results.


All 31P NMR spectroscopic imaging studies were performed on a high-field, 4.1 T, whole-body NMR spectroscopic imaging system using a 31P/1H double-tuned volume coil.


We found an average reduction of 15% in the PCr/Pi and gamma-ATP/Pi ratios compared with the corresponding ratios in healthy volunteers in the entire mesial temporal lobe, and more than a 30% reduction in these two ratios in the anterior region of the epileptogenic mesial temporal lobe. These ratios were also reduced significantly in the ipsilateral lobe when compared with their corresponding values in the contralateral lobe. In patients we lateralized the seizure focus, based on these 31P NMR data, and compared the results with the clinical lateralization. The lateralization based on either the PCr/Pi or the gamma-ATP/Pi ratio yielded a correspondence of 70 to 73% with the final clinical lateralization. In the subgroup of patients (n = 9) that needed intracranial EEG for the presurgical lateralization because of inconclusive results from the noninvasive methods, a 78% correspondence was found with the 31P NMR-based lateralization, whereas MRI provided a correspondence of only 33%, and scalp EEG provided a correspondence of only 56%.


These results suggest the utility of adding the 31P NMR method to the group of noninvasive modalities used for presurgical decision making in temporal lobe epilepsy patients.

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