Predictive value of hippocampal internal architecture asymmetry in temporal lobe epilepsy

Academic Article


  • Background: Asymmetry of hippocampal internal architecture (HIA) clarity has been suggested to be a sign of hippocampal sclerosis (HS) and is frequently associated with other MRI findings of HS. The goal of this work is to use a previously developed HIA visual scoring system (Ver Hoef et al., 2013) to quantify HIA asymmetry in a retrospective series of consecutive temporal lobe epilepsy (TLE) patients and evaluate its value in predicting laterality of seizure onset both in patients with other signs of HS (HS+) and those without (HS-). Methods: The HIA scoring system was used to rate hippocampal asymmetry and to assess the agreement between HIA and seizure lateralization. The median values of the average HIA scores for each hippocampus were compared for HS+ epileptogenic hippocampi, HS- epileptogenic hippocampi, and non-epileptogenic hippocampi with a Kruskal-Wallis one-way analysis of variance by ranks. Pair-wise differences between groups were evaluated with the two-tailed Mann-Whitney U test. A logistic regression model examined the utility of average HIA asymmetry score in predicting the true laterality of seizure onset as determined by video-EEG. Sensitivity and specificity are calculated using various asymmetry thresholds in each patient group. Results: Fifty-five patients were identified who met inclusion criteria. Thirteen patients (24%) were found to have hippocampal atrophy and/or signal abnormality indicative of HS (HS+) and 42 did not (HS-). Significant differences were observed in the distribution of individual and average HIA scores between each of the groups of hippocampi, with HS+ hippocampi having the lowest HIA scores and non-epileptogenic hippocampi having the highest. Logistic regression analysis showed that the average HIA asymmetry score was a strong predictor of the laterality of seizure onset (β=3.93508, p<. 0.001). HIA asymmetry remained significant even after adjustment for HS+/HS- status (β=3.8854, p<. 0.001). Among HS- patients, when the average HIA asymmetry score was equal to or exceeded a threshold value of 0.5, the specificity for correctly predicting the side of seizure onset was between 95% and 100% with a sensitivity of 40-45%. Among HS+ patients, a threshold of 0.3 yielded a sensitivity of 85% and specificity of 100%. Conclusions: In this report we show for the first time that HIA asymmetry is a significant predictor of the laterality of seizure onset in TLE patients with otherwise normal MRI findings, and that the proposed HIA scoring system has high specificity and moderate sensitivity for lateralizing seizure onset in patients with TLE. © 2013 Elsevier B.V.
  • Published In

  • Epilepsy Research  Journal
  • Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Author List

  • Ver Hoef LW; Williams FB; Kennedy RE; Szaflarski JP; Knowlton RC
  • Start Page

  • 155
  • End Page

  • 163
  • Volume

  • 106
  • Issue

  • 1-2