MRI morphology of the hippocampus in drug-resistant temporal lobe epilepsy: shape inflation of left hippocampus and correlation of right-sided hippocampal volume and shape with visuospatial function in patients with right-sided TLE

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


We sought to quantify the morphology in vivo of hippocampi in patients with drug resistant temporal lobe epilepsy (TLE) via magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), prior to temporal lobe resection, and the correlation of surface-based shape analysis of morphology and clinical cognitive function.

Thirty patients with drug-resistant TLE and twenty healthy controls underwent clinical neuropsychological testing, and brain MRI at Lund University Hospital prior to hippocampal resection. A neuroradiologist categorised radiological findings into normal hippocampus, subtle changes or definite hippocampal sclerosis. We manually segmented MRI of the hippocampus of participants using ANALYZE 11.0 software; and analysed hippocampal shape using SPHARM-PDM software.

For radiologist visual-ratings of definite left hippocampal sclerosis in those with left-sided TLE, hippocampal volumes were significantly smaller compared to normal controls. In right-sided TLE we found contralateral shape inflation of the left hippocampus, partially confirming previous shape analytic studies of the hippocampus in TLE. We found significant correlation of volume and surface deflation of the right hippocampus in right-sided TLE with reduced performance on the two right-lateralised visuospatial memory tests, the Rey Complex Figure Test (Immediate and Delayed recall) and the Recognition Memory Test for faces. Decreased hippocampal volume was correlated with poorer performance on these tasks.

The morphology of the hippocampus can be quantified via neuroimaging shape analysis in TLE. Contralateral shape inflation of the left hippocampus in right-sided TLE is intriguing, and may result from functional compensation and/or abnormal tissue. In right-sided TLE, hippocampal structural integrity, quantified as hippocampal shape, is correlated with lateralised visuospatial function.


External organisations
  • Australian National University
  • Canberra Hospital
  • Skåne University Hospital
  • University of Wollongong
  • Royal Melbourne Hospital
  • University of Melbourne
Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Neurology
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)68-74
JournalJournal of Clinical Neuroscience
Early online date2019 Jun 17
Publication statusPublished - 2019
Publication categoryResearch