Objective To compare by 7 Tesla (7T) magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) in patients with focal epilepsy who have non-lesional clinical MRI scans with healthy controls. Methods 37 patients with focal epilepsy, based on clinical and electroencephalogram (EEG) data, with non-lesional MRIs at clinical field strengths and 21 healthy controls were recruited for the 7T imaging study. The MRI protocol consisted of high resolution T1-weighted, T2weighted and susceptibility weighted imaging sequences of the entire cortex. The images were read by two neuroradiologists, who were initially blind to clinical data, and then reviewed a second time with knowledge of the seizure onset zone. Results A total of 25 patients had findings with epileptogenic potential. In five patients these were definitely related to their epilepsy, confirmed through surgical intervention, in three they co-localized to the suspected seizure onset zone and likely caused the seizures. In seven patients the imaging findings co-localized to the suspected seizure onset zone but were not the definitive cause, and ten had cortical lesions with epileptogenic potential that did not localize to the suspected seizure onset zone. There were multiple other findings of uncertain significance found in both epilepsy patients and healthy controls. The susceptibility weighted imaging sequence was instrumental in guiding more targeted inspection of the other structural images and aiding in the identification of cortical lesions. Significance Information revealed by the improved resolution and enhanced contrast provided by 7T imaging is valuable in noninvasive identification of lesions in epilepsy patients who are nonlesional at clinical field strengths.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere0213642
JournalPLoS ONE
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 2019


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