Subtle microscopic abnormalities in hippocampal sclerosis do not predict clinical features of temporal lobe epilepsy

Renate M. Kalnins, Anne McIntosh, Michael M. Saling, Samuel F. Berkovic, Graeme D. Jackson, Regula S. Briellmann

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25 Citations (Scopus)


Purpose: Subtle microdysplastic features are found in some patients with hippocampal sclerosis (HS) and refractory temporal lobe epilepsy. The significance of these findings is unknown. We investigated their frequency, relation to the pattern of HS, and clinical associations. Methods: One-hundred forty patients with histologically confirmed HS (mean age at operation, 35 years; 85 women) were analyzed. The presence of HS and subtle structural abnormalities (SSAs) in the mesial temporal lobe and in the lateral neocortical tissue was assessed in detail. Antecedents, seizure characteristics, two verbal memory tests, and outcome in HS patients with and without SSAs were determined. Results: SSAs were found in 60 (43%) of the 140 HS patients, being mesial only in 32 of the 60 cases, and lateral only in nine cases; the remaining 19 cases had both mesial and lateral abnormalities. The frequency of SSA was not related to the pattern of HS or other tested variables. Prolonged febrile convulsions were present in 26 (44%) patients with SSAs, and in 26 (34%) patients (not significant) without SSAs. The outcome after surgery did not differ between patients with SSAs (incidence rate ratio for seizure recurrence, 0.9; 95% confidence interval, 0.5-1.6) compared with patients without SSAs (reference ratio, 1). Conclusions: Forty-three percent of HS patients have SSAs in their lobectomy specimens. The presence of SSAs does not predict clinical characteristics, such as presence of prolonged febrile convulsions, postsurgical outcome, or neuropsychological performance, nor does it correlate with the histologic pattern of HS.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)940-947
Number of pages8
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - 1 Aug 2004
Externally publishedYes


  • Hippocampal sclerosis
  • Morphology
  • Pathology
  • Temporal lobe epilepsy

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