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Usefulness of focal rhythmic discharges on scalp EEG of patients with focal cortical dysplasia and intractable epilepsy.

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Department of Neurology and Neurosurgery, McGill University, Montreal, Que., Canada.


We examined the significance and frequency of occurrence of rhythmic epileptiform discharges (REDs) on the scalp EEGs of 74 patients with intractable partial epilepsy. We also analyzed the relationship of this abnormality to the continuous epileptiform discharges (CEDs) recorded on ECoG. Both REDs and CEDs had been found to be highly specific and sensitive indicators of focal cortical dysplastic lesions. Thirty-four patients (group I) had focal cortical dysplastic lesions (FCDLs) and 40 (group II) had non-dysplastic structural lesions. REDs were observed in 15 (44%) of the 34 patients of group I and in none of group II. REDs did not occur in isolation, were associated with more intermittent interictal spikes involving other regions, but had a greater (P < 0.05) significance for the localization of the epileptogenic area. A strong relationship was observed between the presence of REDs on scalp EEG and the occurrence of CEDs on ECoG recordings. Twelve (80%) of 15 patients with REDs had CEDs. Focal cortical dysplastic lesions are likely to be present when rhythmic epileptiform discharges are found.

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