Relationship between EEG and positron emission tomography abnormalities in clinical epilepsy

Csaba Juhász, Diane C. Chugani, Otto Muzik, Craig Watson, Jagdish Shah, Aashit Shah, Harry T. Chugani

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

34 Scopus citations


Positron emission tomography (PET) is a relatively noninvasive neuroimaging method by means of which a large variety of human brain functions can be assessed. Localized neurochemical abnormalities detected by PET were found in patients with partial epilepsy and suggested the use of this modality for localizing epileptogenic regions of the brain. The clinical usefulness of PET is determined by its sensitivity and specificity for identifying epileptogenic areas as defined by ictal surface and intracranial EEG recordings. The findings obtained from comparative EEG and glucose PET data are reviewed with special emphasis on patients undergoing presurgical evaluation because of medically intractable temporal and extratemporal lobe epilepsy. The utility of glucose PET studies for identifying regions of seizure onset is presented, and the limited specificity of glucose metabolic abnormalities for the detection of various EEG patterns in clinical epilepsy is discussed. The authors review the available intracranial EEG and PET comparisons using [11C]flumazenil (FMZ) PET, a tracer for the assessment of τ-amino-butyric acid/benzodiazepine receptor function. They also summarize their experience with [11C]flumazenil PET in identifying cortical regions that show various ictal and interictal cortical EEG abnormalities in patients with extratemporal seizure origin. Finally, the authors demonstrate that further development of new PET tracers, such as alpha-[11C]methyl-L- tryptophan, is feasible and clinically useful and may increase the number of patients in whom PET studies can replace invasive EEG monitoring.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)29-42
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of Clinical Neurophysiology
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2000
Externally publishedYes


  • [C]flumazenil
  • [F]fluorodeoxyglucose
  • Alpha-[C]methyl-L- tryptophan
  • EEG
  • Intracranial recording Epileptogenic zone
  • Intractable epilepsy
  • Positron emission tomography

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology
  • Physiology
  • Neuroscience(all)


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