EPI-MRI Study Group

Research group

Novel brain imaging for presurgical planning.

Research group leader is professor Ritva Vanninen.

Epilepsy is one of the most common chronic neurological diseases with a prevalence of 0.5 – 1 %. Despite modern antiepileptic drugs a significant proportion of newly diagnosed patients continue to have seizures. Half of the patients with refractory epilepsy may benefit from epilepsy surgery, especially if MRI reveals a focal structural lesion that is compatible with clinical seizures, videotelemetry and PET.

Kuopio Epilepsy Center at Kuopio University Hospital is a Finnish national tertiary center dedicated to the diagnostic evaluation, therapy, and surgery of difficult epilepsy and works in multidisciplinary collaboration.

High resolution 3T MRI with new three-dimensional sequences enables successful interpretation and characterization of specific epileptogenic lesions in the brain – either focal structural alterations or diffuse pathological findings related to syndromes behind epilepsy. Diffusion tensor imaging and tractography of the white matter tracts and functional MRI of eloquent cortical areas may be helpful in presurgical planning. Modern voxel-based post processing techniques enable group-level analyses between specific epilepsy patients and matched control subjects.

Study group

  • Ritva Vanninen / Professor Chairman – Ritva.Vanninen (at) kuh.fi – +358 44 717 3303
  • Reetta Kälviäinen / Professor in Epileptology, Director of Kuopio Epilepsy Center – Reetta.Kalviainen (at) kuh.fi
  • Esa Mervaala / Professor, Clinical Neurophysiology – Esa.Mervaala (at) kuh.fi
  • Päivi Koskenkorva / Post Doc – Paivi.Koskenkorva (at) kuh.fi
  • Arto Immonen / Post Doc – Arto.Immonen (at) kuh.fi
  • Sanna Suoranta / Post Doc – Sanna.Suoranta ( at ) kuh.fi
  • Leena Jutila / Post Doc – Leena.Jutila (at) kuh.fi

Doctoral students

  • Taavi Saavalainen, MD – Taavi.Saavalainen ( at ) kuh.fi
  • Mervi Könönen, phycisist – Mervi.Kononen (at) kuh.fi


  • Anna-Elina Lehesjoki – Folkhälsan Institute of Genetics
  • Jyrki Lötjönen – ICT for Health – VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland, Tampere, Finland
  • Joern Kvaerness – Philips – Clinical Science Nordic

Dissertations of the study group

Selected publications on epilepsy imaging

Suoranta S, Holli-Helenius K, Koskenkorva P, Niskanen E, Könönen M, Aikiä M, Eskola H, Kälviäinen R, Vanninen R. 3D Texture Analysis Reveals Imperceptible MRI Textural Alterations in the Thalamus and Putamen in Progressive Myoclonic Epilepsy Type 1, EPM1. PLOS One. 2013 29;8. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0069905.

Manninen O, Koskenkorva P, Lehtimäki KK, Hyppönen J, Könönen M, Laitinen T, Kalimo H, Kopra O, Kälviäinen R, Gröhn O, Lehesjoki AE, Vanninen R. White Matter Degeneration with Unverricht-Lundborg Progressive Myoclonus Epilepsy: A Translational Diffusion-Tensor Imaging Study in Patients and Cystatin B-Deficient Mice. Radiology. 2013 Jun 20. [Epub ahead of print]

Suoranta S, Manninen H, Koskenkorva P, Könönen M, Laitinen R, Lehesjoki AE, Kälviäinen R, Vanninen R. Thickened skull, scoliosis and other skeletal findings in Unverricht-Lundborg disease link cystatin B function to bone metabolism. Bone. 2012;51:1016–1024.

Koskenkorva P, Niskanen E, Hyppönen J, Könönen M, Mervaala E, Soininen H, Kälviäinen R, Vanninen R. Sensorimotor, visual, and auditory cortical atrophy in Unverricht-Lundborg disease mapped with cortical thickness analysis. AJNR Am J Neuroradiol. 2012;33:878–883.

Niskanen E, Könönen M, Villberg V, Nissi M, Ranta-Aho P, Säisänen L, Karjalainen P, Aikiä M, Kälviäinen R, Mervaala E, Vanninen R The effect of fMRI task combinations on determining the hemispheric dominance of language functions. Neuroradiology. 2012;54:393–405.

Koskenkorva P, Khyuppenen J, Niskanen E, Könönen, M, Bendel P, Mervaala E, A, Kälviäinen R, Vanninen R. Motor cortex and thalamic atrophy in Unverricht-Lundborg disease: Voxel-based morphometric study. Neurology. 2009 Aug 25;73:606–611.

Säisänen L, Könönen M, Julkunen P, Määttä S, Vanninen R, Immonen A, Jutila L, Kälviäinen R, Jääskeläinen JE, Mervaala E. Non-invasive preoperative localization of primary motor cortex in epilepsy surgery by navigated transcranial magnetic stimulation. Epilepsy Res. 2010;92:134–44.

Koskenkorva P, Hyppönen J, Aikiä M, Mervaala E, Kiviranta T, Eriksson K, Lehesjoki AE, Vanninen R, Kälviäinen R. Severer phenotype in Unverricht-Lundborg disease (EPM1) patients compound heterozygous for the dodecamer repeat expansion and the c.202C>T mutation in the CSTB gene. Neurodegener Dis. 2011;8:515–522.

Salmenperä T, Könönen M, Roberts N, Vanninen R, Pitkänen A, Kälviäinen R.Hippocampal damage in newly diagnosed focal epilepsy: A prospective MRI study.Neurology 2005;64:62–68.


Cooperation partners