Presurgical evaluation of patients with operculoinsular epilepsy and negative MRI presents major challenges. Here the authors examined the yield of noninvasive modalities such as voxel-based morphometric MRI postprocessing, FDG-PET, subtraction ictal SPECT coregistered to MRI (SISCOM), and magnetoencephalography (MEG) in a cohort of patients with operculoinsular epilepsy and negative MRI.
Twenty-two MRI-negative patients were included who had focal ictal onset from the operculoinsular cortex on intracranial EEG, and underwent focal resection limited to the operculoinsular cortex. MRI postprocessing was applied to presurgical T1-weighted volumetric MRI using a morphometric analysis program (MAP). Individual and combined localization yields of MAP, FDG-PET, MEG, and SISCOM were compared with the ictal onset location on intracranial EEG. Seizure outcomes were reported at 1 year and 2 years (when available) using the Engel classification.
Ten patients (45.5%, 10/22) had operculoinsular abnormalities on MAP; 5 (23.8%, 5/21) had operculoinsular hypometabolism on FDG-PET; 4 (26.7%, 4/15) had operculoinsular hyperperfusion on SISCOM; and 6 (30.0%, 6/20) had an MEG cluster (3 tight, 3 loose) within the operculoinsular cortex. The highest yield of a 2-test combination was 59.1%, seen with MAP and SISCOM, followed by 54.5% with MAP and FDG-PET, and also 54.5% with MAP and MEG. The highest yield of a 3-test combination was 68.2%, seen with MAP, MEG, and SISCOM. The yield of the 4-test combination remained at 68.2%. When all other tests were negative or nonlocalizing, unique information was provided by MAP in 5, MEG in 1, SISCOM in 2, and FDG-PET in none of the patients. One-year follow-up was available in all patients, and showed 11 Engel class IA, 4 class IB, 4 class II, and 3 class III/IV. Two-year follow-up was available in 19 patients, and showed 9 class IA, 3 class IB, 1 class ID, 3 class II, and 3 class III/IV.
This study highlights the individual and combined values of multiple noninvasive modalities for the evaluation of nonlesional operculoinsular epilepsy. The 3-test combination of MAP, MEG, and SISCOM represented structural, interictal, and ictal localization information, and constituted the highest yield. MAP showed the highest yield of unique information when other tests were negative or nonlocalizing.