Introduction: Epilepsy is one of the most frequently diagnosed chronic neurological disorders in children. Diagnosis is often based on seizure history and electroencephalography (EEG) assessment. Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) is recommended for etiologic workup and intervention requirements. We aimed to detect by MRI if focal structural abnormalities are present in the brain in relation to interictal epileptiform discharges (IED). Material and Methods: The study was designed retrospectively. The data were collected from patients admitted to Near East University, Department of Pediatric Neurology, who were aged between 3 months and 18 years and who were diagnosed with epilepsy. The cases considered in the current study, however, were patients that had an EEG record prior to initiating treatment and an MRI within the first six months following diagnosis. Results: Among 222 patients, 212 (95.5%) had IED, and 92 (41.4%) had abnormal MRI results. The most frequently seen abnormalities detected by MRI were encephalomalacia, hydrocephaly, and atrophy. Among patients who had IED, the ones with multifocal IED were documented to have a statistically significant higher rate of abnormalities in MRI scans. In other patients, IED had no significant correlation with structural lesions detected by MRI. Conclusion: IED can be unrelated to MRI findings. Focal IED were not statistically concordant with the structural lesions detected by MRI. However, for the cases with multifocal discharges revealed by interictal EEG, the rate of abnormalities detected using MRI was 68%. Therefore, the likelihood of detecting abnormalities using MRI in patients with multifocal IED does support the necessity of the use of MRI in early diagnosis stages.
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