The spike onset zone: The region where epileptic spikes start and from where they propagate

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ObjectiveTo determine whether the maximum hemodynamic response to scalp interictal epileptic discharges (IEDs) corresponds to the region where IEDs originate and from where they propagate.MethodsWe studied 19 patients who underwent first an EEG-fMRI showing responses in the gray matter, and then intracranial EEG (iEEG). We coregistered the hemodynamic responses to the iEEG electrode contacts and analyzed IEDs in the iEEG channel adjacent to a maximum response (labeled the main channel), in relation to IEDs in other channels during a widespread intracranial IED event. IEDs in the main channel were aligned at their peak, and IEDs in each channel were averaged time-locked to these instants. The beginning and peak of IEDs in the averaged trace were identified, blinded to the identity of the main channel. The latency of IEDs was computed between the earliest and all other channels.ResultsThe median latency of IEDs in the main channel was significantly smaller than in other channels for either the peak (15.5 vs 67.5 milliseconds, p = 0.00037) or the beginning (46.5 vs 118.4 milliseconds, p = 0.000048). The latency of IED was significantly correlated to the distance from the maximum hemodynamic response (p < 0.0001 for either the peak or the beginning).ConclusionIED adjacent to a maximum hemodynamic response, which often corresponds to the seizure onset zone, is more likely to precede IEDs in remote locations during a widespread intracranial discharge. Thus, EEG-fMRI is a unique noninvasive method to reveal the origin of IEDs, which we propose to label the spike onset zone.

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