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Epilepsia. 2006 Feb;47(2):355-64.

Single and multiple clusters of magnetoencephalographic dipoles in neocortical epilepsy: significance in characterizing the epileptogenic zone.

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Department of Neurosurgery, Epilepsy Center, Nishi-Niigata Chuo National Hospital, 1-14-1 Masago, Niigata City, Niigata 950-2085, Japan.



To characterize the epileptogenic zone in neocortical epilepsy (NE) by using magnetoencephalography (MEG).


We defined and compared locations of single and multiple clusters of equivalent current dipoles (ECDs) for interictal spikes with MRI findings, ictal-onset zones (IOZs) from subdural electroencephalography (SDEEG), resected areas, and postsurgical outcomes of 20 patients who underwent cortical resection for medically intractable NE.


Fourteen patients had single clusters; six had multiple clusters. Overlap of clusters and IOZs defined group A (nine patients), in which a single cluster coincided with the IOZ; group B1 (four patients), in which a single cluster was within or partially overlapped the IOZ; group B2 (five patients), in which multiple-cluster sections overlapped IOZs; group C (two patients; one single; one multiple), in which no overlap was seen. More single clusters (nine of 14) than multiple clusters (none of six) coincided with the IOZ (p = 0.014). More patients with single clusters (10 of 14) than patients with multiple clusters (one of six) had seizure-free outcomes (p = 0.049). Eight of nine patients in group A, versus three of 11 in groups B1, B2, and C, achieved seizure-free outcomes (p = 0.0098). Correlations between MRI findings and postsurgical outcomes were not statistically significant; eight of 13 patients with single lesions, one of four with no lesions, and two of three with multifocal lesions had seizure-free outcomes.


In neocortical epilepsy, MEG ECD clusters correlated with SDEEG IOZs. Single clusters indicated discrete epileptogenic zones that required complete resection for seizure-free outcome. Multiple clusters necessitated that the multiple or extensive epileptogenic zones be completely identified and delineated by SDEEG.

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