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Epilepsia. 2015 Mar;56(3):393-402. doi: 10.1111/epi.12918. Epub 2015 Jan 29.

Mapping the coherence of ictal high frequency oscillations in human extratemporal lobe epilepsy.

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Institute of Biomaterials and Biomedical Engineering, University of Toronto, Toronto, Ontario, Canada.



High frequency oscillations (HFOs) have recently been recorded in epilepsy patients and proposed as possible novel biomarkers of epileptogenicity. Investigation of additional HFO characteristics that correlate with the clinical manifestation of seizures may yield additional insights for delineating epileptogenic regions. To that end, this study examined the spatiotemporal coherence patterns of HFOs (80-400 Hz) so as to characterize the strength of HFO interactions in the epileptic brain. We hypothesized that regions of strong HFO coherence identified epileptogenic networks believed to possess a pathologic locking nature in relation to regular brain activity.


We applied wavelet phase coherence analysis to the intracranial EEG (iEEG)s of patients (n = 5) undergoing presurgical evaluation of drug-resistant extratemporal lobe epilepsy (ETLE). We have also computed HFO intensity (related to the square-root of the power), to study the relationship between HFO amplitude and coherence.


Strong HFO (80-270 Hz) coherence was observed in a consistent and spatially focused channel cluster during seizures in four of five patients. Furthermore, cortical regions possessing strong ictal HFO coherence coincided with regions exhibiting high ictal HFO intensity, relative to all other channels.


Because HFOs have been shown to localize to the epileptogenic zone, and we have demonstrated a correlation between ictal HFO intensity and coherence, we propose that ictal HFO coherence can act as an epilepsy biomarker. Moreover, the seizures studied here showed strong spatial correlation of ictal HFO coherence and intensity in the 80-270 Hz frequency range, suggesting that this band may be targeted when defining seizure-related regions of interest for characterizing ETLE.


Coherence; Epilepsy; High frequency oscillations

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