Isolated amygdalar sclerosis (AS) in the presence of an intact hippocampus has been described in a subset of patients who have undergone a temporal lobectomy for the relief of seizures. Clinical observation suggested that these patients might be distinguishable, before and after operation, from those with typical mesial temporal sclerosis, which implies combined amygdalar and hippocampal sclerosis (AHS). From a three year series, all 11 patients classified as having AS were included in this study. These patients were compared with a group of 20 randomly chosen patients with AHS. The groups were found to be well matched in duration of ongoing seizures, full scale IQ, and duration of follow up (mean 19 months). Compared with patients with AHS, patients in the AS group were less likely to have had a seizure in early childhood, a variety of auras, EEG abnormalities localised to one temporal lobe, or an abnormal MRI before operation. They also performed better on preoperative memory tests. At follow up, patients in the AS group were less likely to be seizure free and more likely to have a deterioration in memory after undergoing anterior temporal lobectomy, including part of the hippocampus. The results show that there are preoperative indicators of mesial temporal pathology that are also of prognostic importance given the differences in outcome between the two pathological groups.
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