Local epileptic activity, histological and neuroimaging findings in symptomatic epilepsy


A. Y. Stepanenko, 125475, Klinskaya 10-2-42, Moskow, Russia

Tel.: +7(916)178-1961

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e-mail: a.stepanenko61@gmail.com



This study is aimed at revealing the relationship between local interictal epileptic activity, cytoarchitectural disturbances and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) findings.

Material and methods

We prospectively investigated a series of 25 patients with symptomatic epilepsy due to isolated forms of focal cortical dysplasia (FCD) or hippocampal sclerosis and low-grade tumours associated with FCD, all of whom underwent tailored surgical procedures under intraoperative electrocorticography; we conducted neuropathological examinations of 92 biopsies taken from different places. We examined the relationship between dysplastic changes in the cortex and the absence or presence of seizure patterns (SPs), including regular spikes/sharp waves, recruiting discharges, paroxysmal fast activity and rhythmic delta–theta activity. Comparisons with MRI findings were also performed.


Complete removal of the SPs zone was associated with better results of surgical treatment. Areas with isolated architectural abnormalities were associated with SPs significantly more often than those where the cortex contains immature or giant neurons; these areas were associated with SPs more than areas containing dysmorphic neurons. The extent of MRI signs appearance in the neocortex correlated neither with the presence of SPs nor with the types of histological changes.


We suppose an inverse relationship between the morphological changes in neurons and their ability to generate epileptic activity. Electrocorticography may be used for the identification of the MRI-negative epileptogenic lesions.