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Stereotact Funct Neurosurg. 2001;77(1-4):29-32.

Neurophysiological monitoring for epilepsy surgery: the Talairach SEEG method. StereoElectroEncephaloGraphy. Indications, results, complications and therapeutic applications in a series of 100 consecutive cases.

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  • 1Department of Functional Neurosurgery, Hospital P. Wertheimer, University of Lyon, France.



In some candidates for epilepsy surgery in whom the decision to operate is difficult to make, invasive presurgical investigations, namely depth electrode recordings, may be needed. The SEEG (StereoElectroEncephaloGraphy) method consists of stereotactic orthogonal implantation of depth electrodes (5 to 15, 11 on average). The object of this study is to clarify the indications for SEEG, to expose its complications, and to display its usefulness in terms of surgical strategy and results.


100 patients, suffering from drug-resistant epilepsy and selected as candidates for surgical resection, underwent SEEG between 1996 and 2000. A total of 1,118 electrodes were implanted. For each single case, the sites of implantation of the electrodes were chosen in order to determine either the side of the onset of seizures, or the uni- or multilobar feature of them, or a possible operculo-insular propagation from a temporal onset, and also, using direct electrode stimulation, the proximity of speech or motor area.


Complications occurred in 5 patients (2 superficial infections, 2 breakages of electrodes, and 1 intracerebral hematoma responsible for death). SEEG was helpful in most (84%) of the 100 patients to confirm or annul surgical indication, and to adjust the extent of the resection. In some cases (14%), SEEG allowed to propose a resection that might have been disputable based solely on noninvasive investigation data. For frontal epilepsy, SEEG was crucial in all cases to delineate the extent of resection.


SEEG proved to be a relatively safe and a very useful method in 'difficult' candidates for epilepsy surgery. In addition, in some cases the implanted electrodes can be used to perform therapeutic RF thermocoagulation of epileptic foci or networks.

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