Assessment of the Utility of Ictal Magnetoencephalography in the Localization of the Epileptic Seizure Onset Zone

Rafeed Alkawadri, Richard C. Burgess, Yosuke Kakisaka, John C. Mosher, Andreas V. Alexopoulos

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

22 Citations (Scopus)


Importance: Literature on ictal magnetoencephalography (MEG) in clinical practice and the relationship to other modalities is limited because of the brevity of routine studies. Objective: To investigate the utility and reliability of ictal MEG in the localization of the epileptogenic zone. Design, Setting, and Participants: A retrospective medical record review and prospective analysis of a novel ictal rhythm analysis method was conducted at a tertiary epilepsy center with a wide base of referrals for epilepsy surgery evaluation and included consecutive cases of patients who experienced epileptic seizures during routine MEG studies from March 2008 to February 2012. A total of 377 studies screened. Data were analyzed from November 2011 to October 2015. Main Outcomes and Measures: Presurgical workup and interictal and ictal MEG data were reviewed. The localizing value of using extended-source localization of a narrow band identified visually at onset was analyzed. Results: Of the 44 included patients, the mean (SD) age at the time of recording was 19.3 (14.9) years, and 25 (57%) were male. The mean duration of recording was 51.2 minutes. Seizures were provoked by known triggers in 3 patients and were spontaneous otherwise. Twenty-five patients (57%) had 1 seizure, 6 (14%) had 2, and 13 (30%) had 3 or more. Magnetoencephalography single equivalent current dipole analysis was possible in 29 patients (66%), of whom 8 (28%) had no clear interictal discharges. Sublobar concordance between ictal and interictal dipoles was seen in 18 of 21 patients (86%). Three patients (7%) showed clear ictal MEG patterns without electroencephalography changes. Ictal MEG dipoles correlated with the lobe of onset in 7 of 8 patients (88%) who underwent intracranial electroencephalography evaluations. Reasons for failure to identify ictal dipoles included diffuse or poor dipolar ictal patterns, no MEG changes, and movement artifact. Resection of areas containing a minimum-norm estimate of a narrow band at onset, not single equivalent current dipole, was associated with sustained seizure freedom. Conclusions and Significance: Ictal MEG data can provide reliable localization, including in cases that are difficult to localize by other modalities. These findings support the use of extended-source localization for seizures recorded during MEG..

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1264-1272
Number of pages9
JournalJAMA Neurology
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - 2018 Oct

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology


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