John Libbey Eurotext

Positron emission tomography in epileptogenic hypothalamic hamartomas Volume 5, issue 4, December 2003

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Authors
Department of Functional Neurology and Epileptology, Neurology Hospital, and CERMEP, Lyon. Epilepsy Unit, Child Neurology and Metabolic Diseases Dpt. University Hospital Robert Debré, Paris. Centre de la TEPPE, Tain l‘Hermitage. Physiopathology of the Epilepsies Department, University Hospital of Grenoble, France

Whether the intrinsic epileptogenicity of hypothalamic hamartomas (HH) is responsible for the entire clinical spectrum of epileptic, neuropsychological and behavioural disorders associated with HH, remains an open issue, in as much as morphologically similar HH can be associated with dramatically different seizure types and cognitive outcomes. The aim of this study was to investigate brain glucose metabolism in patients with epileptogenic HH, in an attempt to identify signs of focal cortical and subcortical dysfunction which might correlate with other clinical data. We have studied five patients with epileptogenic HH using [ 18F]‐fluoro‐desoxyglucose and positron emission tomography (FDG‐PET). All our patients also underwent an optimal MRI and a video‐EEG monitoring, as well as an intra‐cranial EEG recording in one of them. The anatomical distribution of FDG‐PET abnormalities was compared to that of interictal and ictal electro‐clinical findings. All five patients demonstrated focal hypometabolism, ipsilateral to the predominant EEG abnormalities and side of HH. Hypometabolic areas greatly varied between patients, but were grossly concordant with the cortical regions suspected to participate in the ictal discharges in each individual. Epileptogenic hypothalamic hamartomas are usually associated with focal cortical hypometabolism in regions which might participate in the overall HH‐driven epileptic network. Whether these cortical abnormalities only reflect the propagation of ictal discharges, or a potentially independent seizure onset zone remains unknown.