• Epilepsy;
  • Epileptic focus;
  • Deoxyglucose;
  • Autoradiography;
  • Hypometabolism;
  • Blood flow;
  • Iodoantipyrine;
  • Penicillin;
  • Interictal;
  • PET;

Summary: Purpose: Interictal measurements of cerebral blood flow are less helpful in localizing epileptic foci than are measurements of brain metabolism. This may be related to an uncoupling of blood flow and metabolism. In this study, brain metabolism and blood flow were compared in an acute experimental model of focal interictal epilepsy.

Methods: Interictal epileptic foci were induced by an epicor-tical application of penicillin in rats. After 1 h, stereotyped interictal activity was initiated, lasting until the end of the experiment. Brain metabolism was determined with [14C]deoxyglucose, and cerebral blood flow with [14C]iodoan-tipyrine autoradiography.

Results: In control experiments, metabolism and blood flow were coupled. In animals with focal interictal epileptic activity, the metabolism was strongly increased in the focus and reduced in areas lateral to the focus. In contralateral brain areas, blood flow and metabolism varied in a parallel fashion. Ipsilateral to the focus, however, blood flow and metabolism were altered disproportionately. In the focus, the increase of blood flow was less marked than the increase of metabolism, and the area with increased blood flow was larger than the area with increased metabolism. Lateral to the focus, in the area with a hypome-tabolism, blood flow was not concomitantly reduced.

Conclusions: The experiments show that blood flow and rnetabolism in focal epilepsy may be uncoupled in widespread regions. This is due neither to structural abnormalities nor to the duration or discharge pattern of epileptic activity. The results explain why interictal metabolic investigations have a higher predictive value in presurgical epilepsy evaluation than do interictal measurements of blood flow.