Table of Contents
International Journal of Molecular Imaging
Volume 2011, Article ID 813028, 9 pages
Review Article

SPECT Imaging of Epilepsy: An Overview and Comparison with F-18 FDG PET

1Division of Nuclear Medicine, Department of Radiology, Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh and The University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, Pittsburgh, PA 15213, USA
2Division of Nuclear Medicine, Department of Radiology, University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, PET Facility, B-932, 200 Lothrop Street, Pittsburgh, PA 15213, USA

Received 20 August 2010; Accepted 9 May 2011

Academic Editor: Abass Alavi

Copyright © 2011 Sunhee Kim and James M. Mountz. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Epilepsy surgery is highly effective in treating refractory epilepsy, but requires accurate presurgical localization of the epileptogenic focus. Briefly, localization of the region of seizure onset traditionally dependents on seizure semiology, scalp EEG recordings and correlation with anatomical imaging modalities such as MRI. The introduction of noninvasive functional neuroimaging methods, including single-photon emission computed tomography (SPECT) and positron emission tomography (PET) has dramatically changed the method for presurgical epilepsy evaluation. These imaging modalities have become powerful tools for the investigation of brain function and are an essential part of the evaluation of epileptic patients. Of these methods, SPECT has the practical capacity to image blood flow functional changes that occur during seizures in the routine clinical setting. In this review we present the basic principles of epilepsy SPECT and PET imaging. We discuss the properties of the SPECT tracers to be used for this purpose and imaging acquisition protocols as well as the diagnostic performance of SPECT in addition to SPECT image analysis methods. This is followed by a discussion and comparison to F-18 FDG PET acquisition and imaging analysis methods.