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Rat brains (n = 17) with flurothyl-induced status epilepticus (SE) have been imaged with a gradient-echo diffusion-weighted imaging sequence at 2.0 T. The apparent water diffusion coefficient (ADC) decreased during seizure discharges. The magnitude of the ADC reduction correlated well with the duration of flurothyl exposure. A 17% reduction in the water ADC compared with preseizure condition was observed in rats with the longest flurothyl exposure time. In 13 rats, pentobarbital was used to arrest the electrographic seizure activity. ADC values began to return to normal a few minutes after the injection. In four rats with no pentobarbital administration, ADC values remained depressed up to 1 h after seizure onset. The results suggest that diffusion-weighted MR imaging may be useful for mapping recent intense seizure activity in human patients with medically intractable epilepsy.