Clinical Usefulness of the Dipole Tracing Method for Localizing Interictal Spikes in Partial Epilepsy

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To clarify the clinical usefulness of the dipole tracing method in evaluation of interictal EEG spikes in patients with partial epilepsy.


Eight patients with partial epilepsy were studied. We compared the generator source of interictal spikes detected by the dipole tracing method with the results of magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), interictal/ictal measurement of cerebral blood flow (CBF) by single photon emission computed tomography (SPECT), interictal measurement of glucose metabolism by positron emission tomography (PET) and invasive electrocorticogram (ECoG).


In 5 patients with mesial temporal lobe epilepsy (TLE), including 3 patients who underwent standard temporal lobectomy, the dipole tracing method showed results consistent with those of other examinations and better correlation with ECoG than with other noninvasive examinations. In a patient with mesial TLE who had defects in the skull due to previous surgery, the dipoles were located more laterally than expected. In a patient with frontal lobe epilepsy (FLE) who was finally proved to have an epileptogenic area in the lateral frontal area, the spike dipoles were identified in the medial side of the frontal lobe.


The dipole tracing method used in the present study is useful for localizing epileptogenic areas in patients with mesial TLE. However, in patients with partial skull defects and in those with FLE, the reliability of this method is still in accuracy of the lobe level.

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