Preoperative electroencephalographic investigation in temporal lobe epilepsy: extracranial and intracranial recordings

Can J Neurol Sci. 1991 Nov;18(4 Suppl):554-8. doi: 10.1017/s0317167100032686.


Preoperative EEG investigations of patients with temporal lobe seizures include extracranial interictal and ictal recordings during wakefulness and sleep, including long-term EEG and video-monitoring. Interictal epileptiform discharges when evaluated conservatively and in conjunction with other EEG and non-EEG localizing information, provide valuable guidance for the identification of the area to be resected, as do ictal recordings. When extracranial EEG features in conjunction with non-EEG data provide conflicting localizing information, intracranial recordings with stereotaxically implanted depth and epidural electrodes are used. Intracranial recordings must be designed to avoid biasing the exploration strategy in favor of one's preferred localizing hypothesis. Patients with evidence for bitemporal epileptogenic dysfunction in extracranial EEG recordings are suitable candidates for intracranial recordings. The majority of the patients explored in this manner show that all or more than 80% of their seizures arise from one temporal lobe. Excision of that lobe yields satisfactory results in a fair proportion of these patients. The number of satisfactory outcomes is however, still somewhat less than in patients with unilateral temporal foci in extracranial EEG recordings.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Electroencephalography*
  • Epilepsy, Temporal Lobe / diagnosis*
  • Epilepsy, Temporal Lobe / surgery
  • Humans
  • Preoperative Care