Magnetoencephalography in presurgical epilepsy evaluation

Neurosurg Rev. 2002 Jun;25(3):141-59; discussion 160-1. doi: 10.1007/s10143-001-0197-2.


The introduction of whole-head magnetoencephalography (MEG) systems facilitating simultaneous recording from the entire brain surface has led to a major breakthrough of MEG in presurgical epilepsy evaluation. Localizations of the interictal spike zone with MEG showed excellent agreement with invasive electrical recordings, were useful to clarify the spatial relationship of the irritative spike zone to structural lesions, and could attribute epileptic activity to lobar subcompartments both in temporal lobe and extratemporal epilepsy. MEG was especially useful for the study of patients with non-lesional neocortical epilepsy and of patients with large lesions, where it provided unique information on the epileptogenic zone. It could reliably localize sensorimotor cortex prior to surgical procedures adjacent to central fissure. MEG language mapping yielded concordant results with the Wada test and cortical stimulation studies. MEG localizations of epileptic activity and essential brain regions were successfully integrated into frameless stereotaxy systems providing accurate functional information intraoperatively. Because MEG and EEG yield both complementary and confirmatory information, combined MEG-EEG recordings in conjunction with advanced source modeling techniques will further improve the noninvasive evaluation of epilepsy patients and constantly reduce the need for invasive procedures.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Brain / physiopathology*
  • Brain / surgery*
  • Epilepsy / physiopathology*
  • Epilepsy / surgery*
  • Humans
  • Magnetoencephalography*
  • Neurosurgical Procedures
  • Preoperative Care*