Journal Article

Local and remote epileptogenicity in focal cortical dysplasias and neurodevelopmental tumours

Sandrine Aubert, Fabrice Wendling, Jean Regis, Aileen McGonigal, Dominique Figarella-Branger, Jean-Claude Peragut, Nadine Girard, Patrick Chauvel and Fabrice Bartolomei

in Brain

Published on behalf of The Guarantors of Brain

Volume 132, issue 11, pages 3072-3086
Published in print November 2009 | ISSN: 0006-8950
Published online September 2009 | e-ISSN: 1460-2156 | DOI:
Local and remote epileptogenicity in focal cortical dysplasias and neurodevelopmental tumours

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During the pre-surgical evaluation of drug-resistant epilepsy, the assessment of the extent of the epileptogenic zone and its organization is a crucial objective. Indeed, the epileptogenic zone may be organized as a simple focal lesional site or as a more complex network (often referred to as the ‘epileptogenic network’) extending beyond the lesion. This distinction is particularly relevant in developmental lesions such as focal cortical dysplasias or dysembryoplastic neuroepithelial tumours and may determine both the surgical strategy and the prognosis. In this study, we have quantified the epileptogenic characteristic of brain structures explored by depth electrodes in 36 patients investigated by stereoelectroencephalography and suffering from focal drug-resistant epilepsy associated with focal cortical dysplasias or dysembryoplastic neuroepithelial tumours. This quantification was performed using the ‘Epileptogenicity Index’ method that accounts for both the propensity of a brain area to generate rapid discharges and the time for this area to get involved in the seizure. Epileptogenicity Index values range from 0 (no epileptogenicity) to 1 (maximal epileptogenicity). We determined Epileptogenicity Index from signals recorded in distinct brain structures including the lesional site. We studied the type of epileptogenic zone organization (focal versus network) and looked for a correlation with clinical data and post-surgical outcome. Mean Epileptogenicity Index in lesional regions was 0.87 (±0.25), and 0.29 (±0.30) in ‘non-lesional’ structures. The number of highly epileptogenic structures (defined by Epileptogenicity Index value ≥0.4) was 3.14 (±1.87) in the whole population. We found that 31% of patients had only one epileptogenic structure (NEI≥0.4 = 1), therefore disclosing a strictly focal epileptogenic zone organization while 25 patients had more than one epileptogenic region, disclosing a network (61%) or bilateral (8%) epileptogenic zone organization. We observed a trend for a difference in seizure outcome according to the type of epileptogenic zone organization. Indeed, 57% of patients with network organization and 87% with focal organization were seizure-free while none of those with bilateral organization became seizure-free. The determination of Epileptogenicity Index computed from electrophysiological signals recorded according to the stereoelectroencephalography technique is a novel tool. Results suggest that it can help in the delineation of the epileptogenic zone associated with brain lesions and that it could be used in the definition of the subsequent surgical resection.

Keywords: partial epilepsy; rapid discharge; focal cortical dysplasia; intracerebral recordings; prognosis

Journal Article.  9451 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Neurology ; Neuroscience

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