Prospective magnetic resonance imaging identification of focal cortical dysplasia, including the non-balloon cell subtype

Stephen Chan*, Steven S. Chin, Douglas R. Nordli, Robert R. Goodman, Robert L. DeLaPaz, Timothy A. Pedley

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

83 Scopus citations


The purpose of this study was to determine the role of high-resolution T2-weighted fast multiplanar inversion-recovery (FMPIR) magnetic resonance (MR) imaging in detecting and delineating microscopic focal cortical dysplasia (FCD). We performed MR scans with FMPIR on 42 patients with suspected neocortical epilepsy. Ten MR studies were read prospectively as showing FCD; these case histories, electroencephalographic studies, and neuroimaging data were reviewed. Eight of these patients subsequently underwent focal cortical resection guided by intraoperative electrocorticography. The MR findings were correlated with pathological findings in these 8 patients. For purposes of radiological-pathological correlation, the FCD lesions were divided into two classes. Radiological classification was based on the absence (type A) or presence (type B) of T2 prolongation of the subcortical white matter. Pathological grading as type I or type II was based on a previously described pathological grading system. Specific MR findings associated with FCD included focal blurring of the gray- white matter interface (n = 9), thickening of the cortical ribbon (n = 7), and T2 prolongation of the subcortical white matter (n = 4). In 3 patients, the only MR finding that suggested FCD was localized blurring of the gray- white matter junction. In 2 of these 3 patients, the MR diagnosis of FCD could be made only by FMPIR. FCD was confirmed histologically in 7 of 8 patients, with insufficient tissue for complete histopathological evaluation in 1 case. Radiological classification of FCD agreed with pathological classification in 5 of 7 cases. Correlation of MR findings with intraoperative electrocorticography results indicated that the MR study localized the epileptogenic lesion correctly in 8 of 8 cases. Scalp ictal electroencephalographic studies localized the epileptogenic lesion in 5 of 8 cases; positron emission tomographic scans were locally abnormal in 3 of 3 cases. FMPIR MR imaging permitted accurate diagnosis and localization of FCD in all patients with pathologically proved FCD. MR identification of FCD aided presurgical planning and intraoperative management of these patients.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)749-757
Number of pages9
JournalAnnals of Neurology
Issue number5
StatePublished - Jan 1 1998

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neurology
  • Clinical Neurology


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