Role of neuroimaging in the management of seizure disorders

Elson L. So

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

41 Scopus citations


Neuroimaging is one of the most important advances made in the past decade in the management of seizure disorders. Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) has increased substantially the ability to detect causes of seizure disorders, to plan medical or surgical therapy, and to prognosticate the outcome of disorders and therapy. However, MRI must be performed with techniques that will maximize the detection of potentially epileptogenic lesions, especially in candidates for epilepsy surgery. Functional imaging has an established role in evaluating patients for epilepsy surgery. It is relied on when results from standard diagnostic methods, such as clinical information, electroencephalography, and MRI, are insufficient to localize the seizure focus. Also, functional imaging is a reportedly reliable alternative to invasive methods for identifying language, memory, and sensorimotor areas of the cerebral cortex. Despite the availability of multimodality imaging, the epileptogenic zone is not determined solely by a single imaging modality. Evidence and experience have shown that concordance of results from clinical, electrophysiologic, and neuroimaging studies is needed to identify the epileptogenic zone accurately. With modern techniques in image processing, multimodality imaging can integrate the location of abnormal electroencephalographic, structural, and functional imaging foci on a "map" of the patient's brain. Computer image-guided surgery allows surgically exact implantation of intracranial electrodes and resection of abnormal structural or functional imaging foci. These techniques decrease the risk of morbidity associated with epilepsy surgery and enhance the probability of postsurgical seizure control.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1251-1264
Number of pages14
JournalMayo Clinic proceedings
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 1 2002

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Medicine


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