Diagnostic imaging in focal epilepsy
Abstract. Focal epilepsies account for 60% of all seizure disorders worldwide. In this review the classic and new classification system of epileptic seizures and syndromes as well as genetic forms are discussed. Magnetic resonance (MR) is the technique of choice for diagnostic imaging in focal epilepsy because of its sensitivity and high tissue contrast. The review is focused on the lack of consensus of imaging protocols and reported findings in refractory epilepsy. The most frequently encountered MRI findings in epilepsy are reported and their imaging characteristics are depicted. Diagnosis of hippocampal sclerosis and malformations of cortical development as two major causes of refractory focal epilepsy is described in details. Some promising new techniques as positron emission tomography computed tomography (PET/CT) and MR and PET/CT fusion are briefly discussed. Also the relevance of adequate imaging in focal epilepsy, some practical points in imaging interpretation and differential diagnosis are highlighted.
Key words: DIAGNOSTIC IMAGING. FOCAL EPILEPSY. MAGNETIC RESONANCE IMAGING (MRI)