Regional cerebral blood flow (rCBF) measurements were determined by the intravenous Xenon 133 technique in 80 patients suffering from temporal lobe epilepsy. All the patients had a normal CT scan. Three subgroups were differentiated, according to EEG and all-night polygraphic recordings: temporal lobe epilepsy with left (N = 25) or right (N = 25) EEG epileptic abnormalities and temporal lobe epilepsy with EEG abnormalities in both temporal regions with asynchronous occurrence (n = 30). In comparison with a control group (n = 20), there was (1) a marked reduction of blood flow in the temporal region corresponding to the site of the epileptic focus and (2) a reduction in blood flow in distant brain areas and the contralateral hemisphere. The rCBF decrease was highly correlated (p less than 0.001) with the disease severity (taking into account the complex partial seizure frequency and the number of secondary generalised seizures). Differences were found in the rCBF decrease between left and right temporal lobe epilepsy.
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