Monday, September 22, 2014

2003 Mar;44(3):372-8.

Abnormal neuroimaging in patients with benign epilepsy with centrotemporal spikes.



Neuroimaging procedures are usually unnecessary in benign epilepsy of childhood with centrotemporal spikes (BECTS) but are often performed before a specific diagnosis has been reached. By definition, BECTS occurs in normal children; however, recent reports have shown that it also can affect children with static brain lesions. We evaluated the prevalence of abnormal neuroimaging in BECTS and assessed whether the lesions had influenced the clinical and EEG expression of this epilepsy.


Among 98 consecutive cases first referred between 1984 and 1999, neuroimaging had been performed in 71 (72%) [magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), 20; computed tomography (CT), 59; MRI+CT, eight]. In ten (14.8%), neuroradiologic procedures were abnormal: enlargement of lateral venticles in five cases including a shunted hydrocephalus in two (no etiology in one, neonatal intraventricular hemorrhage in one), a moderate ventricular dilation in one (neonatal distress), a slight ventricular dilation and hypersignal intensities in the white matter in one (premature birth at 27 weeks), and a moderate enlargement of the right temporal horn in one. A right hippocampal atrophy, a biopercular polymicrogyria, a cavum septum pellucidum, a small cystic lesion located in the epiphysis, and an agenesis of the corpus callosum with macrocrania also were observed once each. The outcome was benign in all, in accordance with the overall prognosis of BECTS.


This study confirms that neuroimaging may be abnormal in patients with BECTS and shows that the presence of brain lesions has no influence on the prognosis. Conversely, BECTS can be diagnosed in patients with brain lesions with or without significant neurologic history or abnormalities.

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