Multimodality imaging for improved detection of epileptogenic foci in tuberous sclerosis complex

E. Asano, Diane C. Chugani, O. Muzik, C. Shen, C. Juhász, J. Janisse, J. Ager, A. Canady, J. R. Shah, A. K. Shah, Craig Watson, H. T. Chugani

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

117 Scopus citations


Objective: Using interictal α-[11C]methyl-L-tryptophan ([11C]AMT) PET scan, the authors have undertaken a quantitative analysis of all tubers visible on MRI or 2-deoxy-2-[18F]fluoro-D-glucose ([18F]FDG) PET, to determine the relationship between [11C]AMT uptake and epileptic activity on EEG. Background: Tuberous sclerosis complex (TSC is an autosomal dominant disorder, often associated with cortical tubers and intractable epilepsy. The authors have shown previously that [11C]AMT PET scans show high tracer uptake in some epileptogenic tubers and low uptake in the remaining tubers. Methods: Eighteen children, age 7 months to 16 years, were studied. Patients underwent video-EEG monitoring, PET scans of [11C]AMT and [18F]FDG, and T2-weighted or fluid-attenuated inversion recovery (FLAIR) MRI. [11C]AMT uptake values were measured in 258 cortical tubers delineated with coregistered MRI or [18F]FDG scans. Uptake ratios were calculated between the [11C]AMT uptake in tubers and those for normal cortex (tuber/normal cortex. Using the region of epileptiform activity, the authors performed receiver operator characteristics (ROC) analysis and determined the optimal uptake ratio for detecting presumed epileptogenic tubers. Results: Tuber uptake ratios ranged from 0.6 to 2.0. Tuber uptake ratios in the epileptic lobes were higher than those in the nonepileptic lobes (p < 0.0001). All 15 patients with focal seizure activity showed one or more lesions with uptake ratio above 0.98 in the epileptic lobe. ROC analysis showed that a tuber uptake ratio of 0.98 resulted in a specificity of 0.91. Conclusions: Cortical tubers with [11C]AMT uptake greater than or equal to normal cortex are significantly related to epileptiform activity in that lobe. Together, interictal [11C]AMT PET and FLAIR MRI improve the detection of potentially epileptogenic tubers in patients with TSC being evaluated for epilepsy surgery.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1976-1984
Number of pages9
Issue number10
StatePublished - May 23 2000
Externally publishedYes


  • α-[C]methyl-L- tryptophan
  • Epilepsy surgery
  • Neuroimaging
  • PET
  • Quinolinic acid
  • Serotonin
  • Tuberous sclerosis complex

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)


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