Localization of Interictal Epileptic Spikes With MEG: Optimization of an Automated Beamformer Screening Method (SAMepi) in a Diverse Epilepsy Population

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To describe and optimize an automated beamforming technique followed by identification of locations with excess kurtosis (g2) for efficient detection and localization of interictal spikes in patients with medically refractory epilepsy.


Synthetic aperture magnetometry with g2 averaged over a sliding time window (SAMepi) was performed in seven patients with focal epilepsy and five healthy volunteers. The effect of varied window lengths on detection of spiking activity was evaluated.


Sliding window lengths of 0.5 to 10 seconds performed similarly, with 0.5- and 1-second windows detecting spiking activity in 1 of the 3 virtual sensor locations with highest kurtosis. These locations were concordant with the region of eventual surgical resection in these seven patients who remained seizure-free at 1 year. Average g2 values increased with increasing sliding window length in all subjects. In healthy volunteers, kurtosis values stabilized in data sets longer than 2 minutes.


SAMepi using g2 averaged over 1-second sliding time windows in data sets of at least 2 minutes of duration reliably identified interictal spiking and the presumed seizure focus in these seven patients. Screening the five locations with highest kurtosis values for spiking activity is an efficient and accurate technique for localizing interictal activity using magnetoencephalography.


SAMepi should be applied using the parameter values and procedure described for optimal detection and localization of interictal spikes. Use of this screening procedure could significantly improve the efficiency of magnetoencephalography analysis if clinically validated.

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