Abstract: Thirty percent to 40% of patients with focal epilepsy are medically intractable,1 and for some, surgical removal of epileptogenic areas is the best option to gain seizure freedom. Intracranial electroencephalographic (iEEG) investigations are indicated for patients in whom noninvasive methods fail to identify a single focal seizure generator.2
iEEG is used to define the seizure onset zone (SOZ).3 Removal of the SOZ alone, however, does not always predict the surgical benefit.4,5 It is uncertain whether the outcome can be improved by removing areas of interictal spiking, often more widespread than the SOZ.6,7 Intracranial studies also have limitations, as their results depend on electrode location and type of implantation (intracortical vs subdural). For instance, iEEG electrodes only record neuronal activity in their direct vicinity and are blind for other areas,8 making it hard to judge whether the activity at seizure onset really represents the seizure generator or is the result of propagation from else-where. Thus the actual focus and its extent may be missed, leading to unsuccessful surgery.
Microelectrode-recorded high-frequency oscillations (HFOs), ripples (80 –250Hz), and fast ripples (FRs, 250 –500Hz), were found predominantly in epileptogenic tissue.9 –11 They can also be recorded with macroelectrodes during clinical iEEG investigation.12,13 HFOs were more specific in indicating the SOZ than spikes.14 Additionally, they were linked to the SOZ independently of the underlying lesion and were infrequent in lesional areas outside the SOZ.15 Evidence therefore suggests that HFOs are good markers of epileptic tissue and may help to identify epileptogenic areas. We hypothesize that removing areas generating HFOs results in good surgical outcome. The correlation between removal of HFO-generating areas and seizure outcome was compared to that coming from spikes and to the current gold standard, removing the SOZ.
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