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Neuroimage. 2012 Feb 15;59(4):3955-66. doi: 10.1016/j.neuroimage.2011.10.052. Epub 2011 Oct 21.

Towards source volume estimation of interictal spikes in focal epilepsy using magnetoencephalography.

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Lyon Neuroscience Research Center, INSERM U1028, CNRS UMR5292, Brain Dynamics and Cognition Team, Lyon F-69000, France.


Interictal spikes are a hallmark of cortical epileptogenicity; their spatial distribution in the cortex defines the so-called 'irritative' zone or spiking volume (SV). Delineating the SV precisely is a challenge during the presurgical evaluation of patients with epilepsy. Magnetoencephalography (MEG) recordings enable determination of the brain sources of epileptic spikes using source localization procedures. Most previous clinical MEG studies have relied on dipole modeling of epileptic spikes, which does not permit a volumetric estimation of the spiking cortex. In the present study, we propose a new source modeling procedure, Volumetric Imaging of Epileptic Spikes (VIES). In VIES, the SV is identified as the 3D region where sources of the high frequency activities (>20 Hz) associated with epileptic spikes are distributed. We localized these sources using a beamforming approach (DICS, Dynamic Imaging of Coherent Neural Sources). To determine the optimal parameters and accuracy of the method, we compared the SV obtained by VIES with the SV defined by the invasive gold standard, intracranial stereotactic EEG recordings (SEEG), in 21 patients with focal epilepsy. Using rigorous validation criteria based on the exact anatomical location of SEEG contacts, we found that the overall sensitivity of VIES for detecting spiking SEEG contacts was 76% and its specificity for correctly identifying non-spiking SEEG contacts was 67%, indicating a good agreement between VIES and SEEG. Moreover, we found that classical dipole clustering was not informative in 9/21 patients, while VIES enable to delineate the SV in all patients. For the 12 patients having a SV delineated both with VIES and dipole clustering, VIES method had higher sensitivity and lower specificity. This proof-of-concept study shows that VIES is a promising approach to non-invasive estimation of the SV in focal epilepsy.

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