Influence of subtraction ictal SPECT on surgical management in focal epilepsy of indeterminate localization: A prospective study

K. Meng Tan, Jeffrey W. Britton, Jeffrey R. Buchhalter, Gregory A. Worrell, Terrence D. Lagerlund, Cheolsu Shin, Gregory D. Cascino, Fredric B. Meyer, Elson L. So

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

25 Scopus citations


The impact of functional imaging tests on the decision-making and planning process for epilepsy surgery has never been prospectively assessed. We prospectively evaluated 50 consecutively eligible patients whose noninvasive evaluations showed nonlocalized findings and determined how their SISCOM (subtraction ictal SPECT [single photon emission computed tomography] co-registered to MRI [magnetic resonance imaging]) data altered consensus decisions for epilepsy surgery. At an epilepsy surgery conference where each patient was discussed, consensus decisions were documented after a standardized presentation of data from the noninvasive evaluation (SISCOM findings initially were excluded). Consensus decisions were again documented after presentation of SISCOM data. Consensus decisions changed for 10 of 32 patients (31%) with localizing SISCOM results, whereas the decision changed in only 1 of 18 patients (6%) with nonlocalizing SISCOM results (P < .05). Changes in consensus decisions were as follows: (1) intracranial electrode implantation (IEI) was obviated and resective surgery was recommended (n = 2); (2) resective surgery or further evaluation for patients initially not considered surgical candidates (n = 2); (3) IEI in patients for whom it was not recommended initially (n = 3); (4) increased IEI coverage (n = 3); and (5) antiepileptic drug trial or vagal nerve stimulation was recommended instead of IEI (n = 1). For some patients whose noninvasive evaluations did not clearly localize a surgical focus, SISCOM data can have a major impact on decisions to recommend resective epilepsy surgery or IEI.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)190-193
Number of pages4
JournalEpilepsy Research
Issue number2-3
StatePublished - Dec 2008


  • Epilepsy surgery
  • Seizures

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neurology
  • Clinical Neurology


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