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Intersubject variability in the anterior extent of the optic radiation assessed by tractography

Journal article
Authors Daniel Nilsson
Göran Starck
Maria Ljungberg
Susanne Ribbelin
Lars Jönsson
Kristina Malmgren
Bertil Rydenhag
Published in Epilepsy Res
Volume 77
Issue 1
Pages 11-6
ISSN 0920-1211 (Print)
Publication year 2007
Published at Institute of Clinical Sciences, Department of Radiation Physics
Institute of Neuroscience and Physiology, Department of Clinical Neuroscience and Rehabilitation
Institute of Clinical Sciences
Pages 11-6
Language en
Subject categories Neurosurgery


INTRODUCTION: Temporal lobe resection for epilepsy involves a risk of damaging the anterior part of the optic radiation, Meyer's loop, causing a contralateral upper quadrant visual field defect. This study aims to assess the intersubject variability in the course of Meyer's loop in vivo by diffusion tensor imaging and tractography. METHODS: Seven healthy volunteers and two patients with previous temporal lobe resection were recruited. Diffusion tensor imaging and tractography were used to visualize the optic radiation. The distances from the anterior edge of Meyer's loop to landmarks in the temporal lobe were calculated. RESULTS: In the healthy subjects, the mean distance between the most anterior part of Meyer's loop and the temporal pole was 44mm (range 34-51mm). Meyer's loop did not reach the tip of the temporal horn in any subject. A disruption in Meyer's loop could be demonstrated in the patient with quadrantanopia after temporal lobe resection. CONCLUSIONS: Meyer's loop has a considerable variability in its anterior extent. Tractography may be a useful method to visualize Meyer's loop, and assess the risk of a visual field defect, prior to temporal lobe resection.

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