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Recent advances in imaging epilepsy
  1. Ian Craven1,
  2. Christina Kotsarini2,
  3. Nigel Hoggard2
  1. 1Department of Neuroradiology, Royal Hallamshire Hospital, South Yorkshire, UK
  2. 2Academic Unit of Radiology, University of Sheffield, Sheffield, UK
  1. Correspondence to Dr Ian Craven, Sheffield Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust, Glossop Road, Sheffield S10 2JF, UK; ian.craven{at}


Around 30 000 people are diagnosed with epilepsy every year in the UK. While many of these respond well to antiepileptic drugs, 20–30% have seizures that are resistant to best medical treatment. For these patients it is important to identify any structural abnormalities responsible for generating seizure activity that may be amenable to surgical resection. There are many imaging modalities available to investigate epilepsy including computed tomography (CT), nuclear medicine and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). Additional techniques are available in specific circumstances including single positron emission CT, diffusion imaging, MR spectroscopy, perfusion imaging and functional MRI. Clearly with so many options, a targeted approach is required to reach a diagnosis efficiently. In this article, each modality is discussed along with the imaging options for the common causes of focal seizure activity.

  • Epilepsy
  • MRI
  • CT
  • mesial temporal sclerosis
  • hippocampal sclerosis
  • head and neck imaging
  • MRI
  • neuroradiology
  • nuclear radiology

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  • Competing interests None.

  • Provenance and peer review Commissioned; externally peer reviewed.