Diffusion-weighted magnetic resonance imaging and identification of the epileptogenic tuber in patients with tuberous sclerosis

Jansen, FE, Braun, KPJ, van Nieuwenhuizen, O, Huiskamp, G, Vincken, KL, van Huffelen, Alexander C., van der Grond, J

Archives of Neurology 60 (11), p. 1580-1584


Background: Patients with tuberous sclerosis complex and drug-resistant epilepsy may be considered candidates for epilepsy surgery. This demands the unambiguous demonstration of the epileptogenicity of one of the tubers.

Objective: To test whether diffusion-weighted magnetic resonance imaging enables differentiation of epileptogenic tubers from inert ones.

Methods: In 4 patients with clear unifocal interictal spike activity, fluid-attenuated inversion recovery and diffusion-weighted magnetic resonance imaging were performed. Apparent diffusion coefficient maps were calculated in the identified epileptogenic tuber and compared with those in nonepileptogenic tubers and regions of normal-appearing cortex.

Results: A significant increase in the apparent diffusion coefficient was found in the epileptogenic tubers. Furthermore, the apparent diffusion coefficient of the nonepileptogenic tubers was significantly higher than the trace apparent diffusion coefficient of regions of normal-appearing cortex.

Conclusion: Diffusion-weighted magnetic resonance imaging may be of clinical importance for the identification of epileptogenic tubers in patients with tuberous sclerosis and intractable epilepsy.