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Focal cortical dysplasia mimicking neoplasia
  1. Anuj Bahl1,
  2. Charles A J Romanowski2,
  3. Paul G Ince3,
  4. Fiona M McKevitt4,
  5. David A Jellinek1
  1. 1Department of Neurosurgery, Royal Hallamshire Hospital, Sheffield, UK
  2. 2Department of Neuroradiology, Royal Hallamshire Hospital, Sheffield, UK
  3. 3Department of Neuropathology, University of Sheffield, Sheffield, UK
  4. 4Department of Neurology, Royal Hallamshire Hospital, Sheffield, UK
  1. Correspondence to Mr Anuj Bahl, Department of Neurosurgery, Royal Hallamshire Hospital, N floor, Glossop Road, Sheffield S102JF, UK; anujbahl3{at}

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Focal cortical dysplasia (FCD) is a well-recognised cause of epilepsy.1 We describe the case of a patient with histologically proven FCD, who initially was thought to have a malignant tumour on MR brain scan.

Case report

A 19-year-old right-handed woman reported three episodes of loss of consciousness since the age of 13 years, each preceded by light-headedness and burning in the throat and with amnesia and confusion after the event. She had also experienced occasional vacant episodes suggestive of complex partial seizures and mild self-limiting headaches. The frequency of the vacant episodes had increased to once monthly with temporary episodes of dysphasia lasting a few minutes.

Neurological examination was normal. She was started on levetiracetam.

MRI scan of the brain showed a small spherical enhancing mass within the cortex along the depths of the superior temporal sulcus, involving the upper bank of the middle temporal gyrus on the left (figure 1). The perfusion imaging showed a regional cerebral blood volume of 1.1 ml/100 g. Spectroscopy demonstrated low N-acetyl aspartate and an inverted peak at 1.33 ppm suggesting lactate. Diffusion-weighted …

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  • Contributors AB drafted the article and submitted images and files. FMM provided the valuable preoperative neurology input and DAJ did the surgery, PGI provided the pathological images, CAJR provided radiology. All authors have edited and approved the manuscript.

  • Competing interests None.

  • Patient consent Obtained.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed. This paper was reviewed by Khalid Hamandi, Cardiff, UK.

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