Article Text

Download PDFPDF
Potentially misleading extratemporal lobe lesions in patients with temporal lobe epilepsy
  1. T M Alsaadi1,
  2. L M Bateman2,
  3. K D Laxer2,
  4. N M Barbaro3,
  5. E J Austin2,
  6. P A Garcia2
  1. 1Department of Neurology, University of California, Davis, USA
  2. 2Department of Neurology, University of California, San Francisco, USA
  3. 3Department of Neurological Surgery, University of California, San Francisco
  1. Correspondence to:
 Dr T Alsaadi, Department of Neurology, University of California, Davis, 4860 Y Street, Suite 3700, Sacramento, California 95817, USA; 


From a series of 217 consecutive temporal resections for intractable epilepsy between 1993 and 2000, we identified all patients with large non-neoplastic extratemporal lesions. Only patients with known postsurgical outcomes with follow up for more than two years were included. Fifteen patients were identified. All patients had a history of medically refractory epilepsy with clinical and ictal evidence of mesial temporal seizure onset. Eleven patients had extratemporal lesions ipsilateral to the seizure focus, whereas four patients had the lesions contralateral to the seizure focus. Nine of the 15 patients had evidence of hippocampal atrophy on magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). Following temporal resection, nine of these patients (60%) became seizure free (Engel class 1A), two patients were free of disabling seizures only (Engel class 1B), and two patients had a few early seizures but then became seizure free for at least two years (Engel class 1C). Two patients had significant improvement (Engel class 2). Thus, the finding of large extratemporal lesions on MRI was potentially misleading. When clinical semiology and ictal EEG recordings provide evidence of temporal onset seizures, anterior temporal resection should be considered in patients with extratemporal lesions.

  • temporal lobe epilepsy
  • extratemporal lesion
  • temporal lobectomy
  • EEG, electroencephalogram
  • HA, hippocampal atrophy
  • MRI, magnetic resonance imaging

Statistics from

Request Permissions

If you wish to reuse any or all of this article please use the link below which will take you to the Copyright Clearance Center’s RightsLink service. You will be able to get a quick price and instant permission to reuse the content in many different ways.


  • Competing interests: None declared