Voxel-based 3D MRI analysis helps to detect subtle forms of subcortical band heterotopia
Article first published online: 29 NOV 2007
© 2008 International League Against Epilepsy
Volume 49, Issue 5, pages 772–785, May 2008
How to Cite
Huppertz, H.-J., Wellmer, J., Staack, A. M., Altenmüller, D.-M., Urbach, H. and Kröll, J. (2008), Voxel-based 3D MRI analysis helps to detect subtle forms of subcortical band heterotopia. Epilepsia, 49: 772–785. doi: 10.1111/j.1528-1167.2007.01436.x
- Issue published online: 7 FEB 2008
- Article first published online: 29 NOV 2007
- Accepted October 17, 2007; Online Early publication November 30, 2007.
- Subcortical band heterotopia;
- Double cortex;
- Cryptogenic focal epilepsy;
- Cortical malformation;
- Neuronal migration disorder
Purpose: To evaluate the potential diagnostic value of a novel magnetic resonance image (MRI) postprocessing technique in subtle forms of subcortical band heterotopia (SBH). The method was introduced to improve the visualization of blurred gray–white matter junctions associated with focal cortical dysplasia but was found to be applicable also to SBH.
Methods: In the voxel-based MRI analysis presented here, T1-weighted MRI volume data sets are normalized and segmented using standard algorithms of SPM5. The distribution of gray and white matter is analyzed on a voxelwise basis and compared with a normal database of 150 controls. Based on this analysis, a three-dimensional feature map is created that highlights brain areas if their signal intensities fall within the range between normal gray and white matter and differ from the normal database in this respect. The method was applied to the MRI data of 378 patients with focal epilepsy in three different epilepsy centers.
Results: SBH was diagnosed in seven patients with five of them showing subtle forms of SBH that had gone unrecognized in conventional visual analysis of MRI and were only detected by MRI postprocessing. In contrast to distinct double cortex syndrome, these patients had partial double cortex with SBH mostly confined to posterior brain regions.
Conclusions: The results of this study suggest that a considerable part of cases with SBH might remain unrecognized by conventional MRI. Voxel-based MRI analysis may help to identify subtle forms and appears to be a valuable additional diagnostic tool in the evaluation of patients with cryptogenic epilepsy.