The quantitative 2-[14C]deoxyglucose autoradiographic method was applied to the measurement of local cerebral metabolic rates for glucose in a model of genetic petit mal–like seizures in a strain of Wistar rats. During the experimental period, epileptic rats exhibited synchronous spike-and-wave discharges recorded from the cerebral cortex, whereas the electroencephalographic pattern of control animals was normal. An overall consistent increase in local cerebral metabolic rates for glucose was observed in epileptic rats as compared to nonepileptic control rats. This increase was statistically significant in 52 of the 59 cerebral structures studied and concerned all cerebral functional systems. These results are in accordance with positron emission tomography measurements in humans with typical childhood absence epilepsy. There is a lack of anatomical correlation between areas demonstrating hypermetabolism and areas where spike-and-wave discharges are recorded. Thus, the diffuse increase in cerebral energy metabolism in epileptic rats as compared to controls is not directly related to the occurrence of spike and wave discharges.