The purpose of this study was to assess temporal lobe white matter changes accompanying hippocampal sclerosis on magnetic resonance (MR) imaging using single-voxel 1H MR spectroscopy and to strengthen the hypothesis that these white matter changes are caused by myelin alterations. In 11 patients with histologically proven hippocampal sclerosis, preoperative coronal ﬂuid-attenuated inversion recovery images were visually assessed by two experienced neuroradiologists for hippocampal signal increase and size decrease, atrophy of collateral white matter, and temporal lobe gray/white matter demarcation loss. Single-voxel 1H MR spectroscopy of the white matter of each anterior temporal lobe was also performed, excluding the amygdala and hippocampus. The N-acetyl-aspartate (NAA)/choline and NAA/creatine ratios were calculated. In 12 healthy volunteers both temporal lobes were spectroscopically examined. In all patients the excised hippocampi were histologically assessed for the presence of sclerosis, and the excised neocortical temporal lobes were examined for gray and white matter abnormalities. MRI abnormalities were found on the right in six patients, on the left in four, and one scan was normal. Hippocampal signal increase was seen in nine patients, hippocampal size decrease in ten, atrophy of collateral white matter in nine, and gray/white matter demarcation loss in six. A signiﬁcant decrease in the NAA/choline ratio was found in temporal lobe white matter ipsilateral to the pathologic hippocampus (symptomatic side), compared with the contralateral, asymptomatic side (P < 0.01), and also compared with controls (P < 0.001). The ipsilateral NAA/creatine ratio was also signiﬁcantly decreased (P < 0.05) compared with the contralateral side and the control subjects (P < 0.001). Histological examination showed hippocampal sclerosis to a diﬀerent degree in all patients. Neither gliosis nor cortical dysplasia was found in the ipsilateral, symptomatic temporal lobe. Signiﬁcant decrease in the mean of NAA/choline ratios is found in temporal lobe white matter of patients with histologically conﬁrmed hippocampal sclerosis. As this indicates neuronal loss or dysfunction, the number of axons may be reduced, with associated decrease in myelin density.
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