Diagnosis - MRI hippocampal volumetrics
Everyone with medically resistant epilepsy should undergo MRI testing. To increase the diagnostic power of the MRI a procedure called hippocampal volumetrics is performed. Hippocampal volumetric analysis is performed under the direction of Dr. Olejniczak. The hippocampus is a structure in the temporal lobe of the brain that often produces seizures. Hippocampal volumetrics is performed by taking cross section MRI views of the hippocampus and measuring the distance around each cross section. After the area of each cross section is determined a total volume is calculated. If the patient's seizures arise from one temporal lobe, then the hippocampus within that temporal lobe often has reduced size. The reduced size may not be detected by the routine visual inspection of the radiologist but can be detected by hippocampal volumetrics. Removal of a shrunken or scarred hippocampus often results in a cure for epilepsy (see link to Epilepsy Surgery). All patients being evaluated for epilepsy surgery with seizures thought to arise from the temporal lobe should undergo MRI with hippocampal volumetric analysis. Hippocampal volumetrics is only performed at quarternary epilepsy centers.