Background: When MRI fails to detect a potentially epileptogenic lesion, the chance of a favorable outcome after epilepsy surgery becomes significantly lower (from 60-90 % to 20-65 %). Hybrid FDG-PET/MRI may provide additional information for identifying the epileptogenic zone. We aimed to investigate the possible effect of the introduction of hybrid FDG-PET/MRI into the algorithm of the decision-making in both lesional and non-lesional drug-resistant epileptic patients.
Methods: In a prospective study of patients suffering from drug-resistant focal epilepsy, 30 MRI-negative and 30 MRI-positive cases with discordant presurgical results were evaluated using hybrid FDG-PET/MRI.
Results: The hybrid imaging revealed morphological lesion in 18 patients and glucose hypometabolism in 29 patients within the MRI-negative group. In the MRI positive group, 4 patients were found to be MRI-negative, and in 9 patients at least one more epileptogenic lesion was discovered, while in another 17 cases the original lesion was confirmed by means of hybrid FDG-PET/MRI. As to the therapeutic decision-making, these results helped to indicate resective surgery instead of intracranial EEG (iEEG) monitoring in 2 cases, to avoid any further invasive diagnostic procedures in 7 patients, and to refer 21 patients for iEEG in the MRI-negative group. Hybrid FDG-PET/MRI has also significantly changed the original therapeutic plans in the MRI-positive group. Prior to the hybrid imaging, a resective surgery was considered in 3 patients, and iEEG was planned in 27 patients. However, 3 patients became eligible for resective surgery, 6 patients proved to be inoperable instead of iEEG, and 18 cases remained candidates for iEEG due to the hybrid FDG-PET/MRI. Two patients remained candidates for resective surgery and one patient became not eligible for any further invasive intervention.
Conclusions: The results of hybrid FDG-PET/MRI significantly altered the original plans in 19 of 60 cases. The introduction of hybrid FDG-PET/MRI into the presurgical evaluation process had a potential modifying effect on clinical decision-making.
Trial registration: Trial registry: Scientific Research Ethics Committee of the Medical Research Council of Hungary. Trial registration number: 008899/2016/OTIG. Date of registration: 08 February 2016.