Abnormal Spontaneous Blood Oxygenation Level Dependent Fluctuations in Children with Focal Cortical Dysplasias: Initial Findings in Surgically Confirmed Cases

Source : Neuropediatrics

Pmid / DOI: 36223876


Background: Focal cortical dysplasias (FCD) are a frequent cause of drug-resistant epilepsy in children but are often undetected on structural magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). We aimed to measure and validate the variation of resting state functional MRI (rs-fMRI) blood oxygenation level dependent (BOLD) metrics in surgically proven FCDs in children, to assess the potential yield for detecting and understanding these lesions.

Methods: We prospectively included pediatric patients with surgically proven FCD with inconclusive structural MRI and healthy controls, who underwent a ten-minute rs-fMRI acquired at 3T. Rs-fMRI data was pre-processed and maps of values of regional homogeneity (ReHo), degree centrality (DC), amplitude of low frequency fluctuations (ALFF) and fractional ALFF (fALFF) were calculated. The variations of BOLD metrics within the to-be-resected areas were analyzed visually, and quantitatively using lateralization indices. BOLD metrics variations were also analyzed in fluorodeoxyglucose-positron emission tomography (FDG-PET) hypometabolic areas.

Results: We included 7 patients (range: 3-15 years) and 6 aged-matched controls (range: 6-17 years). ReHo lateralization indices were positive in the to-be-resected areas in 4/7 patients, and in 6/7 patients in the additional PET hypometabolic areas. These indices were significantly higher compared to controls in 3/7 and 4/7 patients, respectively. Visual analysis revealed a good spatial correlation between high ReHo areas and MRI structural abnormalities (when present) or PET hypometabolic areas. No consistent variation was seen using DC, ALFF, or fALFF.

Conclusion: Resting-state fMRI metrics, noticeably increase in ReHo, may have potential to help detect MRI-negative FCDs in combination with other morphological and functional techniques, used in clinical practice and epilepsy-surgery screening.

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