Reversible MRI abnormalities in mesial temporal lobe epilepsy: a case report

Chiara Pizzanelli, Lorenzo Caciagli, Veronica Bartolami, Filippo Sean Giorgi, Ilaria Pesaresi, Melania Guida, Ubaldo Bonuccelli



The question regarding  the existence of abnormalities in the neuroimaging exams immediately after status epilecticus or epileptic seizures, but showing complete reversibility after a proper antiepileptic therapy, has long been debated. The first reports attempting to demonstrate their existence date back to the 1980s, and relied upon computed tomography as the imaging method of choice. After the introduction of MRI, a more appropriate characterization of these abnormalities was obtained along with the description of their most frequent features: (a) T2 signal hyperintensity in the white matter and, occasionally, (b) reduced apparent diffusion coefficient (ADC) and increased signal in DWI sequences.

The MRI abnormalities induced by epileptic activity pose a broad differential diagnosis including infections, inflammatory autoimmune encephalopathies, neoplasms. It remains a diagnosis of exclusion and requires proper diagnostic iter in order to reduce the risk of misdiagnosis and unnecessary intervention.

In this case report, a thorough presentation will be outlined about MRI alterations in the left mesial temporal lobe, which resulted completely reversible after a proper antiepileptic therapy.


Epilepsy; MRI; Reversible abnormalities; Seizures

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