Microdysgenesis with abnormal cortical myelinated fibres in temporal lobe epilepsy: a histopathological study with calbindin D-28-K immunohistochemistry


M. Thom, Department of Neuropathology, Institute of Neurology, Queen Square, London WC1N 3BG, UK. E-mail: MThom@ion.ucl.ac.uk


Microdysgenesis is a microscopic cortical malformation reported to occur with varying incidence in surgical lobectomies from patients with temporal lobe epilepsy (TLE). It may act as a substrate for the seizures. Four patients are reported with TLE, hippocampal sclerosis and cortical microdysgenesis which was also characterized by the presence of abnormal myelinated fibres running tangentially in the superficial cortical laminae and closely associated with abnormal clusters of neurones. Similar abnormal cortical fibres have been described in other malformations of cortical development including polymicrogyria and focal cortical dysplasia and it is therefore likely that these fibres represent part of the microdysgenetic malformation not hitherto reported. The possibility is discussed that they may also be of functional significance in terms of influencing local seizure propagation and the secondary cortical neuronal loss observed, predominantly affecting layer II. Studies of calbindin interneuronal populations showed preservation of these cells in the microdysgenetic cortex, when compared with non-malformed temporal lobes, despite an overall reduction in cortical neuronal density. In addition, prominent numbers of neurogliaform calbindin-positive nerve cells were observed in the microdysgenesis cases and the nature of these cells is speculated upon.