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Epilepsy Res. 1999 Feb;33(2-3):177-87.

Intrinsic epileptogenicity of focal cortical dysplasia as revealed by magnetoencephalography and electrocorticography.

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  • 1Department of Neurosurgery, Neurological Institute, Faculty of Medicine, Kyushu University, Fukuoka, Japan. takato@ns.med.kyushu-u.ac.jp


Focal cortical dysplasia (FCD) is often associated with severe partial epilepsy. In this study, we performed magnetoencephalography (MEG) and electrocorticogrsphy (ECoG) on four patients with FCD-associated epilepsy to confirm the 'intrinsic' epileptogenicity of FCD. In all patients, we determined the three-dimensional locations of the magnetic sources of the interictal paroxysmal activities by a single dipole model, and then the estimated dipole localization was superimposed on the magnetic resonance image. The dipole clusters were located in the T2-prolonged lesions, namely in the FCD lesions themselves. All patients underwent surgery for their medically intractable epilepsy, and the acute and/or chronic ECoG were thereafter recorded. Either frequent or continuous paroxysmal activities were recorded from the ECoG electrodes which were placed over the surface of the FCD lesion, while few paroxysmal activities were observed on the normal appearing adjacent cortex. Intraoperative depth recordings were performed in a patient with the needle electrode inserted into the FCD lesion and they revealed these paroxysmal foci to be located not on the cortical surface but at a depth of 15 mm from the cortical surface where both abnormal giant neurons and bizarre large eosinophilic cells (so-called balloon cells) were also prominently observed on the postoperative histological sections. Following a lesionectomy combined with the removal of the underlying white matter, three patients demonstrated a favorable seizure outcome. Our findings thus suggest the FCD lesions to be highly and intrinsically epileptogenic lesions.

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