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Epilepsy Res. 2008 Feb;78(2-3):216-24. doi: 10.1016/j.eplepsyres.2007.12.007. Epub 2008 Jan 22.

Epileptic spasms in older pediatric patients: MEG and ictal high-frequency oscillations suggest focal-onset seizures in a subset of epileptic spasms.

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Division of Neurology, Department of Paediatrics, The Hospital for Sick Children, University of Toronto, Toronto, Ontario, Canada M5G1X8.



To elucidate the pathophysiology of intractable epileptic spasms in older children by describing the interictal magnetoencephalography spike sources (MEGSSs), intracranial EEG ictal-onset zones (IOZs) and their ictal high-frequency oscillations (HFOs) and surgical outcomes.


We studied five patients (4.5-14 years) who underwent surgery following intracranial video-EEG (VEEG) monitoring. We analyzed clinical profiles, MRIs, scalp and intracranial VEEGs, and MEGSSs. We localized ictal HFOs using a sampling rate of 1000 Hz and multiple band frequency analysis (MBFA).


Seizure onset ranged from 0.4 to 8 years. Three patients presented with asymmetrical spasms. Interictal scalp VEEG recorded predominantly unilateral epileptiform discharges in four; generalized and multifocal in one. Ictal scalp VEEG showed generalized high-amplitude slow waves with superimposed fast waves in four patients; hemispheric electrodecremental episodes in one. MRI findings were normal in three, hemispheric polymicrogyria and periventricular heterotopia in one each. All patients had unilateral MEGSS clusters. Ictal HFOs, ranging from 150 to 250 Hz, localized over Rolandic and frontal regions in four, with one also having extensive temporo-occipital HFOs. After cortical resection, three patients were seizure free; one had >90% reduction in seizure frequency. One patient experienced residual seizures after resection of the hemispheric ictal HFO region.


Unilateral clusters of MEGSSs overlapped regional IOZs in older patients with epileptic spasms. High spatio-temporal MBFA before and during spasms revealed the regional ictal HFOs. Seizure-free outcomes following resection of zone with MEGSS clusters and ictal HFOs suggested that a subset of epileptic spasms was focal-onset seizures.

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