Cerebellar changes in partial seizures: Clinical correlations of quantitative SPECT and MRI analysis

Nicolaas I. Bohnen, Terence J. O'Brien, Brian P. Mullan, Elson L. So

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

48 Scopus citations


Purpose: To determine the frequency and patterns of periictal cerebellar hyperperfusion, whether it is associated with increased cerebellar atrophy, and whether cerebellar hyperperfusion and cerebellar atrophy are associated with predisposing clinical factors or with the outcome of epilepsy surgery. Methods: Periictal and interictal SPECT scans and volumetric brain magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) were quantitatively analyzed in 54 consecutive patients with medically refractory partial epilepsy. Their histories were reviewed and their postsurgical outcomes assessed. Results: Significant periictal cerebellar hyperperfusion was found in 26 (48.1%) patients, of whom 18 had CCH, two had homolateral cerebellar hyperperfusion (HCH), and six had symmetrical bilateral hyperperfusion (BCH). No relation found between the site of the SPECT seizure localization and the presence or type of cerebellar hyperperfusion. CCH was more common when the injected seizure involved unilateral clonic motor activity (p < 0.05). A smaller MRI relative cerebellar volume (cerebellar volume/cerebral volume) was correlated with a greater seizure frequency (R(s) = -0.30; p < 0.05) but not with the duration of epilepsy. There was no difference in the cerebellar volumes between the different patterns of cerebellar perfusion (p > 0.05). However, patients without a focal structural MRI lesion had significantly smaller cerebellar volumes (p < 0.05). In patients who underwent epilepsy surgery (n = 31), there was a trend for those without excellent outcomes to have smaller relative cerebellar volumes than did those with excellent outcome (10.6 vs. 11.8%; p = 0.08). Conclusions: Periictal changes in cerebellar perfusion, particularly CCH, are common in patients with intractable partial epilepsy. However, periictal hyperperfusion does not appear to be a major contributor to the development of cerebellar atrophy.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)640-650
Number of pages11
Issue number6
StatePublished - 1998


  • Cerebellar atrophy
  • Cerebellar hyperperfusion
  • MRI
  • Partial epilepsy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neurology
  • Clinical Neurology


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