Focal cortical dysplasias in temporal lobe epilepsy surgery: Challenge in defining unusual variants according to the last ILAE classification

Matteo Martinoni, Gianluca Marucci, Guido Rubboli, Lilia Volpi, Patrizia Riguzzi, Federica Marliani, Francesco Toni, Ilaria Naldi, Francesca Bisulli, Paolo Tinuper, Roberto Michelucci, Agostino Baruzzi, Marco Giulioni

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objective: Focal cortical dysplasias (FCDs) represent a common architectural cortical disorder underlying pharmacoresistant focal epilepsy. The recent ILAE classification defines different types of FCDs based on their histopathological features, MRI imaging, and presumed pathogenesis; however, their clinical features and their prognostic significance are still incompletely defined. In addition, the combination of different histopathological abnormalities can represent "unusual" subtypes that can be difficult to classify. The aim of our study was to analyze the incidence and the significance of these "unusual" subtypes of FCDs in drug-resistant mesial temporal lobe epilepsy (MTLE). Methods: We retrospectively analyzed 133 patients consecutively submitted to tailored anteromesial temporal lobe resection for pharmacoresistant MTLE. Seizure onset, seizure duration, age at surgery, and postoperative seizure outcome were evaluated in relation to the different neuropathological groups defined according to the new ILAE classification. Results: Focal cortical dysplasias were found in 80 out of 133 patients. Six patients were affected by isolated FCD type I, 12 patients by FCD type II, and 44 patients by FCD type III. Furthermore, we found 18 "atypical" cases (20.5% of all FCD cases and 26.6% of FCDs associated with a principal lesion): 10 cases of associated FCD type II-hippocampal sclerosis (HS) and 8 cases associated with FCD II-epilepsy-associated tumors (EATs). Conclusion: Our results indicate that "unusual" subtypes of FCDs, in particular associated FCD type II, are not uncommon findings, suggesting that they deserve a classification recognition. Similarities in seizure outcome and immunohistochemical and molecular evidences, shared by FCD type II. +. EATs and EATs, suggest a common pathogenic link. The choice to create a specific unifying class or, on the contrary, to also include "associated FCD type II" in the definition of the new unifying class FCD type III should be further discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)212-216
Number of pages5
JournalEpilepsy and Behavior
Publication statusPublished - Apr 1 2015


  • Double pathology
  • Dual pathology
  • Focal cortical dysplasia
  • Glioneuronal tumors
  • Hippocampal sclerosis
  • Temporal lobe epilepsy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology
  • Behavioral Neuroscience
  • Neurology


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