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Epilepsia. 1999 Mar;40(3):257-66.

Ictal patterns of neocortical seizures monitored with intracranial electrodes: correlation with surgical outcome.

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Department of Neurology, University of Washington School of Medicine, Seattle, USA.



Numerous factors have been analyzed in attempts to predict the outcome of surgical resections in patients with neocortical epilepsy. We examined the correlation between surgical outcome and electrocorticographic features of neocortical ictal patterns.


Twenty six patients with neocortical epilepsy underwent monitoring with subdural grid electrodes before surgery. Ictal patterns were analyzed retrospectively and correlated with three types of outcome: seizure free, worthwhile improvement (>75% reduction of seizure frequency), and no worthwhile improvement. The duration of follow-up was 2-5 years.


Ictal patterns were divided according to the size of epileptogenic zone (focal, regional, multifocal); velocity and type of seizure propagation (fast contiguous, slow contiguous, noncontiguous); pattern of the onset of ictal activity; part of the cortex involved in the origin of the seizure (frontal, frontocentroparietal, etc.). Spread to medial temporal structures (as assessed by subtemporal strips) also was evaluated in selected cases. Statistically significant correlation with surgical outcome (p = 0.026) was shown for only one variable: type of spread. Patients with slow spread (n = 8) demonstrated the best outcomes (five are seizure free), whereas patients with noncontiguous spread (n = 5) demonstrated the worst outcomes (four did not improve significantly). Patients with fast contiguous spread (n = 13) showed intermediate outcomes.


Types of propagation of ictal neocortical activity correlate with surgical outcome. Analysis of ictal pattern during intracranial recordings may help to predict surgical outcome for neocortical epilepsy.

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