Document Type


Publication Date



NeuroImage: Clinical



URL with Digital Object Identifier



This study aimed to evaluate the use of diffusion kurtosis imaging (DKI) to detect microstructural abnormalities within the temporal pole (TP) and its temporopolar cortex in temporal lobe epilepsy (TLE) patients. DKI quantitative maps were obtained from fourteen lesional TLE and ten non-lesional TLE patients, along with twenty-three healthy controls. Data collected included mean (MK); radial (RK) and axial kurtosis (AK); mean diffusivity (MD) and axonal water fraction (AWF). Automated fiber quantification (AFQ) was used to quantify DKI measurements along the inferior longitudinal (ILF) and uncinate fasciculus (Unc). ILF and Unc tract profiles were compared between groups and tested for correlation with disease duration. To characterize temporopolar cortex microstructure, DKI maps were sampled at varying depths from superficial white matter (WM) towards the pial surface. Patients were separated according to the temporal lobe ipsilateral to seizure onset and their AFQ results were used as input for statistical analyses. Significant differences were observed between lesional TLE and controls, towards the most temporopolar segment of ILF and Unc proximal to the TP within the ipsilateral temporal lobe in left TLE patients for MK, RK, AWF and MD. No significant changes were observed with DKI maps in the non-lesional TLE group. DKI measurements correlated with disease duration, mostly towards the temporopolar segments of the WM bundles. Stronger differences in MK, RK and AWF within the temporopolar cortex were observed in the lesional TLE and noticeable differences (except for MD) in non-lesional TLE groups compared to controls. This study demonstrates that DKI has potential to detect subtle microstructural alterations within the temporopolar segments of the ILF and Unc and the connected temporopolar cortex in TLE patients including non-lesional TLE subjects. This could aid our understanding of the extrahippocampal areas, more specifically the temporal pole role in seizure generation in TLE and might inform surgical planning, leading to better seizure outcomes.