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J Clin Neurophysiol. 1997 Nov;14(6):470-83.

Defining epileptogenic foci: past, present, future.

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VA Connecticut Healthcare System, West Haven 06516, USA.


There is a direct relationship between the geometry (location, area, and orientation) of cortex-generating epileptiform discharges and resultant spike or seizure voltage fields at the scalp. Epileptogenic foci have been localized traditionally with EEG by identifying the negative field maximum (e.g., a phase reversal between adjacent bipolar channels). However, it is the shape of the entire voltage field over the head, including both negative and positive maxima, which provides information necessary to characterize the focus properly. Source location and orientation can be inferred from spike or seizure voltage topography, however, three-dimensional visualization can be obtained from mathematical source models, such as an equivalent dipole. Recent investigations have shown that dipole models can identify the location of epileptogenic foci with sub-lobar precision. Accuracy is enhanced by using additional electrodes, particularly on the lower half of the head, and by measuring their location. Realistic head models obtained from three-dimensional reconstructions of MR images can overcome errors introduced by simple spherical models of the cranium. Co-registering EEG voltage topography and source models with a patient's own cerebral anatomy will make EEG an unparalleled functional imaging technique for defining epileptogenic foci.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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