Fundamental Research Division
The DRF at the CEA assemble approximately 6,000 scientists since January 2016.
Découvertes et avancées | Scientific result | Medical imaging | MRI | Positron Emission Tomography | Methodologies for life sciences | Brain
Studies carried out by the CEA-Joliot show that simultaneous PET/MR imaging noticeably improves the detection of lesions responsible for epilepsies, as well as the preparation of the surgical interventions used to treat them.
Epilepsy is a chronic disease, characterized by seizures that manifest themselves as a sudden and transient disturbance of the brain's electrical activity. In truth, it would be more accurate to refer to epilepsy in the plural, as the symptoms and their evolution are so diverse.
Some epilepsies (known as focal epilepsies) are located in a specific area of the brain. As they are often resistant to medication, surgical removal of the epileptic focus – the area of the brain responsible for the seizures – remains the only therapeutic solution. These epilepsies can be associated with very focalized brain abnormalities known as focal cortical dysplasias (FCD).
These FCDs are sometimes difficult to identify by MRI. In this case, positron emission tomography (PET) with 18F-FDG (a radioactive fluorine-18 labelled glucose analogue) is useful. In this context, could there be any benefit to simultaneous PET-MRI recording on the same machine?
To find out, the Nuclear physician researchers and their partners compared images from 25 patients with refractory focal epilepsy, between 2017 and 2020:
The quality of the images was visually analyzed in a double-blind fashion. The results show that the sensitivity of PET/MRI exceeds that of PET+MRI by 13%.
PET/MRI therefore allowed:
seizure suppression in 12 out of 14 patients who underwent cortical surgery.By improving the detection of epileptogenic lesions, PET/MRI can optimize the presurgical work-up and the results of surgical treatment, even in the most challenging cases.
CEA is a French government-funded technological research organisation in four main areas: low-carbon energies, defense and security, information technologies and health technologies. A prominent player in the European Research Area, it is involved in setting up collaborative projects with many partners around the world.