Summary: Quantitative analysis of hippocampal formations (HF) by magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) was correlated with depth electrode recordings in 18 patients with partial epilepsy. All had seizures of mesiotemporal origin. Electrodes explored three HF segments: amygdala and HF head and anterior and posterior HF body. Corresponding. HF measurements were made on coronal MRI sequences, and atrophy was quantified by one global and three segmental indexes of asymmetry per patient. HF from which seizure originated showed global atrophy in 15 patients. Segmental analysis demonstrated discrete tissue damage in 1 patient; thus, 16 patients (88%) had significant hippocampal atrophy ipsilateral to the mesial focus. The existence of more pronounced atrophy in segments giving rise to ictal onset than in segments without ictal onset was not statistically significant. Nevertheless, in posterior HF, all segments (four) with seizure onset were atrophied and none of the nonatrophied posterior segments (four) were at seizure origin. These findings confirm that MRI-detected hippocampal atrophy is a powerful indicator of a mesiotemporal focus and strongly contributes to consideration of resective surgery without intracerebral EEG monitoring. Study of the distribution of maximal tissue damage may add some information, and help surgeons decide on the posterior extent of hippocampus removal. As illustrated by 3 patients who had multiple sites of seizure onset, however, the presence of this marker should not be interpreted systematically as evidence of pure mesiotemporal epilepsy.