Three-T MRI enhances diagnosis of focal epilepsy

November 1, 2008

A recent study at the Oregon Health and Science University in Portland has confirmed that 3T MR imaging improves on 1.5T MRI for detecting and characterizing struc-tural brain abnormalities in patients with focal epilepsy.

A recent study at the Oregon Health and Science University in Portland has confirmed that 3T MR imaging improves on 1.5T MRI for detecting and characterizing struc-tural brain abnormalities in patients with focal epilepsy.

Surgery can cure focal epilepsy, but only patients with a specific imaging-diagnosed structural brain abnormality are candidates for the treatment. An accurate, one-go MRI exam is thus preferable since insurance companies may not pay for a second one, according to sen-ior investigator Dr. Bronwyn E. Hamilton.

Hamilton and colleagues evaluated 74 epilepsy cases. The researchers detected brain abnormalities in 65 patients using 3T MRI compared with 55 detected by 1.5T MRI. Investigators also found 3T MRI accurately characterized lesions in 63 cases, compared with 51 for 1.5T scanning (AJR 2008; 191:890-895).