OBJECTIVE: To quantify size and localization differences between tumors presenting with seizures vs nonseizure neurological symptoms.
DESIGN: Retrospective imaging survey. We performed magnetic resonance imaging-based morphometric analysis and nonparametric mapping in patients with brain tumors.
SETTING: University-affiliated teaching hospital.
PATIENTS OR OTHER PARTICIPANTS: One hundred twenty-four patients with newly diagnosed supratentorial glial tumors.
MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: Volumetric and mapping methods were used to evaluate differences in size and location of the tumors in patients who presented with seizures as compared with patients who presented with other symptoms.
RESULTS: In high-grade gliomas, tumors presenting with seizures were smaller than tumors presenting with other neurological symptoms, whereas in low-grade gliomas, tumors presenting with seizures were larger. Tumor location maps revealed that in high-grade gliomas, deep-seated tumors in the pericallosal regions were more likely to present with nonseizure neurological symptoms. In low-grade gliomas, tumors of the temporal lobe as well as the insular region were more likely to present with seizures.
CONCLUSIONS: The influence of size and location of the tumors on their propensity to cause seizures varies with the grade of the tumor. In high-grade gliomas, rapidly growing tumors, particularly those situated in deeper structures, present with non-seizure-related symptoms. In low-grade gliomas, lesions in the temporal lobe or the insula grow large without other symptoms and eventually cause seizures. Quantitative image analysis allows for the mapping of regions in each group that are more or less susceptible to seizures.