Cortical thickness analysis in operculo-insular epilepsy

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Background: In temporal lobe epilepsy (TLE), advanced neuroimaging techniques reveal anomalies extending beyond the temporal lobe such as thinning of fronto-central cortices. Operculo-insular epilepsy (OIE) is an under-recognized and poorly characterized condition with the potential of mimicking TLE. In this work, we investigated insular and extra-insular cortical thickness (CT) changes in OIE. Methods: All participants (14 patients with refractory OIE, 9 age- and sex-matched patients with refractory TLE and 26 healthy controls) underwent a T1-weighted acquisition on a 3 T MRI. Anatomical images were processed with Advanced Normalization Tools. Between-group analysis of CT was performed using a two-sided t-test (threshold of p < 0.05 after correction for multiple comparisons; cut-off threshold of 250 voxels) between (i) patients with OIE vs TLE, and (ii) patients with OIE vs healthy controls. Results: Significant widespread thinning was observed in OIE patients as compared with healthy controls mainly in the ipsilateral insula, peri-rolandic region, orbito-frontal area, mesiotemporal structures and lateral temporal neocortex. Contralateral cortical shrinkage followed a similar albeit milder and less diffuse pattern. The CT of OIE patients was equal or reduced relative to the TLE group for every cortical region analyzed. Thinning was observed diffusely in OIE patients, predominantly inboth insulae and the ipsilateral occipito-temporal area. Conclusion: Our results reveal structural anomalies extending beyond the operculo-insular area in OIE.




Obaid, S., Tucholka, A., Ghaziri, J., Jodoin, P. M., Morency, F., Descoteaux, M., … Nguyen, D. K. (2018). Cortical thickness analysis in operculo-insular epilepsy. NeuroImage: Clinical, 19, 727–733.

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