Laboratory for Presurgical Epilepsy Evaluation Vaud-Genève, Department of Neurology, University Hospital of Geneva, 24, rue Micheli-du-Crest, CH-1211 Geneva 14, Switzerland.
MRI volumetric measurements of the ipsi- and contralateral hippocampal volume (HV) were performed in a group of 37 patients with lesional and non-lesional temporal (TLE), and extratemporal lobe (ETLE) lobe epilepsy. Twenty-six patients underwent surgery and the resected tissues subjected to histopathological examination. Psychosocial scores were calculated on the basis of employment, partnership/family status and presence of a positive psychiatric history. Poorest values were obtained for the group with right lesional and non-lesional TLE (RTLE, p < 0.001). In this group, significant positive correlations between psychosocial functioning and the left hippocampal volume or age of onset were observed. We found that the left hippocampal volume in RTLE was smaller with increasing epilepsy duration. We conclude that patients with RTLE represent a particular group with regard to the structural and psychosocial consequences of chronic epilepsy. With regard to histopathological analysis, no particular type of lesion was identified as the major determinant of the results described above.