The effect of injection time on rates of epileptogenic zone localization using SISCOM and STATISCOM

Gernot Hlauschek, Benjamin Sinclair, Benjamin Brinkmann, Joshua Fuge, Patrick Kwan, Terence J. O'Brien, Lucy Vivash

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Background: The identification of hyperperfusion on ictal single-photon emission computed tomography (SPECT) scan is a technique for the localization of the epileptogenic zone (EZ) in patients with focal epilepsy undergoing presurgical evaluation. The accuracy of this technique has been improved by subtraction from an interictal image and coregistration with magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) (subtraction ictal SPECT coregistered to MRI (SISCOM)), and subsequently by the development of Statistical Ictal SPECT Co-registered to MRI (STATISCOM) which is reported to further improve localization accuracy by statistically accounting for random variation between images. However, the use of ictal SPECT is limited by the necessity for rapid injection of the radiotracer. The purpose of this study was to investigate the effect of tracer injection time on EZ localization rates using both STATISCOM and SISCOM. Methods: Consecutive patients with drug-resistant focal epilepsy who had an ictal SPECT scan while admitted to the video-electroencephalography (EEG) monitoring unit at the Royal Melbourne Hospital, Victoria, Australia, and a subsequent interictal scan, between 2009 and 2017 were included. The information collected included age, sex, seizure type, epilepsy diagnosis, and injection time. Statistical Ictal SPECT Co-registered to MRI and SISCOM images were generated and reviewed by two blinded reviewers. The rates of potential localization of the EZ, and the agreement with the EEG, were determined for each scan. Localization rates were compared between ictal scans with different radiotracer injection time windows (<30 s, 30–45 s, 45–60 s, 60–90 s, 90–120 s, >120 s). Results: Seventy patients (male = 32, 16–67 years) were included in the study. Overall agreement between the primary raters was moderate for STATISCOM (k = 0.44) and SISCOM (k = 0.57). The ability of SPECT to localize the potential EZ was 69% (48/70) for STATISCOM and 59% (41/70) for SISCOM. Injection time was not associated with the rate of localizing the potential EZ for STATISCOM (p = 0.64), whereas for SISCOM there was a trend that shorter injection times were associated with better ability to localize the potential EZ (p = 0.06). Agreement between SPECT and video-EEG data was 54% (38/70) for STATISCOM and 39% (27/70) for SISCOM. Statistical Ictal SPECT Co-registered to MRI did not show any difference of agreement across injection time groups (p = 0.42) whereas SISCOM showed better agreement with video-EEG data in the earlier injection time groups (p = 0.02). No differences in agreement between SPECT and video-EEG data were seen between patients with and without MRI lesions for either STATISCOM or SISCOM. Statistical Ictal SPECT Co-registered to MRI showed significantly better agreement for temporal than extratemporal seizures, with no difference of agreement between early (<45 s) and late (>45 s) injections. Conclusion: Statistical Ictal SPECT Co-registered to MRI showed overall higher agreement rates with EZ localization by video-EEG than SISCOM, which was not affected by the injection times. Statistical Ictal SPECT Co-registered to MRI may provide localizing information for “late” injections where visual reads and SISCOM are inconclusive.

Original languageEnglish
Article number107945
Number of pages7
JournalEpilepsy & Behavior
Publication statusPublished - May 2021


  • Epilepsy
  • Temporal lobe epilepsy

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