Physiological research

The relationships between quantitative MR parameters in hippocampus in healthy subjects and patients with temporal lobe epilepsy.

PMID 25536324


We introduce a new magnetic resonance (MR) method based on a pixel-by-pixel image processing to examine relationships between metabolic and structural processes in the pathologic hippocampus. The method was tested for lateralization of the epileptogenic zone in patients with temporal lobe epilepsy (TLE). Twenty patients with drug-resistant TLE and fifteen healthy controls were examined at 3T. The measurement protocol contained T2-weighted MR images, spectroscopic imaging, diffusion tensor imaging and T2 relaxometry. Correlations between quantitative MR parameters were calculated on a pixel-by-pixel basis using the CORIMA program which enables automated pixel identification in the normal tissue according to control data. All MR parameters changed in the anteroposterior direction in the hippocampus and correlation patterns and their slopes differed between patients and controls. Combinations of T2 relaxation times with metabolite values represent the best biomarkers of the epileptogenic zone. Correlations with mean diffusivity did not provide sufficiently accurate results due to diffusion image distortions. Quantitative MR analysis non-invasively provides a detailed description of hippocampal pathology and may represent complementary tool to the standard clinical protocol. However, the automated processing should be carefully monitored in order to avoid possible errors caused by MR artifacts.