Hippocampal MRI signal hyperintensity after febrile status epilepticus is predictive of subsequent mesial temporal sclerosis.
OBJECTIVE: The objective of our study was to test the hypothesis that the finding of hyperintense hippocampal signal intensity on T2-weighted MR images soon after febrile status epilepticus is associated with subsequent hippocampal volume loss and persistent abnormal signal intensity on T2-weighted images (i.e., mesial temporal sclerosis). SUBJECTS AND METHODS: Eleven children (mean age, 25 months) underwent initial MRI that included coronal temporal lobe imaging within 72 hours of febrile status epilepticus and follow-up imaging from 3 to 23 months later (mean, 9 months). A neuroradiologist blinded to clinical history graded initial and follow-up hippocampal signal intensity on a scale from 0 (normal) to 4 (markedly increased). Two blinded observers measured hippocampal volumes on initial and follow-up MR studies using commercially available software and volumes from 30 healthy children (mean age, 6.3 years). Initial signal intensity and hippocampal volume changes were compared using Kendall tau correlation coefficients. RESULTS: On initial imaging, hyperintense signal intensity ranging from 1 (minimally increased) to 4 (markedly increased) was seen in seven children. Four children had at least one hippocampus with moderate or marked signal abnormality, three children had a hippocampus with mild or minimal abnormality, and four children had normal signal intensity. The Kendall tau correlation coefficient between signal intensity increase and volume change was -0.68 (p < 0.01). Five children (two with temporal lobe epilepsy and two with complex partial seizures) had hippocampal volume loss and increased signal intensity on follow-up imaging, meeting the criteria for mesial temporal sclerosis. CONCLUSION: MRI findings of a markedly hyperintense hippocampus in children with febrile status epilepticus was highly associated with subsequent mesial temporal sclerosis.
Provenzale, JM; Barboriak, DP; VanLandingham, K; MacFall, J; Delong, D; Lewis, DV
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