Frequency and characteristics of dual pathology in patients with lesional epilepsy

F. Cendes, M. J. Cook, Craig Watson, F. Andermann, D. R. Fish, S. D. Shorvon, P. Bergin, S. Free, F. Dubeau, D. L. Arnold

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

209 Scopus citations


We studied 167 patients who had identifiable lesions and temporal or extratemporal partial epilepsy. Pathology included neuronal migration disorders (NMDs) (48), low-grade tumors (52), vascular malformations (34), porencephalic cysts (16), and gliotic lesions as a result of cerebral insults early in life (17). MRI volumetric studies using thin (1.5- or 3-mm) coronal images were performed in all patients and in 44 age-matched normal controls. An atrophic hippocampal formation (HF), indicating dual pathology, was present in 25 patients (15%). Abnormal HF volumes were present in those with lesions involving temporal (17%) but also extratemporal (14%) areas. Age at onset and duration of epilepsy did not influence the presence of HF atrophy. However, febrile seizures in early childhood were more frequently, although not exclusively, found in patients with hippocampal atrophy. The frequency of hippocampal atrophy in our patients with low-grade tumors (2%) and vascular lesions (9%) was low. Dual pathology was far more common in patients with NMDs (25%), porencephalic cysts (31%), and reactive gliosis (23.5%). Some structural lesions, such as NMDs, are more likely to be associated with hippocampal atrophy, independent of the distance of the lesion from the HF. In other types of lesions, such as vascular malformations, dual pathology was found when the lesion was close to the HF. A common pathogenic mechanism during pre- or perinatal development may explain the occurrence of concomitant mesial temporal sclerosis and other structural lesions because of either (1) associated developmental abnormalities or (2) predisposition to prolonged febrile convulsions. Further clarification of this issue would improve our understanding of the pathogenesis of mesial temporal sclerosis and lead to more efficient planning of surgical treatment for lesional epilepsy.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2058-2064
Number of pages7
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 1995

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)


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