Background: Magnetic source imaging (MSI) is used routinely in epilepsy presurgical evaluation and in mapping eloquent cortex for surgery. Despite increasing use, the diagnostic yield of MSI is uncertain, with reports varying from 5% to 35%. To add benefit, a diagnostic technique should influence decisions made from other tests, and that influence should yield better outcomes. We report preliminary results of an ongoing, long-term clinical study in epilepsy, where MSI changed surgical decisions.
Methods: We determined whether MSI changed the surgical decision in a prospective, blinded, crossover-controlled, single-treatment, observational case series. Sixty-nine sequential patients diagnosed with partial epilepsy of suspected neocortical origin had video-EEG and imaging. All met criteria for intracranial EEG (ICEEG). At a surgical conference, a decision was made before and after presentation of MSI. Cases where MSI altered the decision were noted.
Results: MSI gave nonredundant information in 23 patients (33%). MSI added ICEEG electrodes in 9 (13%) and changed the surgical decision in another 14 (20%). Based on MSI, 16 patients (23%) were scheduled for different ICEEG coverage. Twenty-eight have gone to ICEEG, 29 to resection, and 14 to vagal nerve stimulation, including 17 where MSI changed the decision. Additional electrodes in 4 patients covered the correct: hemisphere in 3, lobe in 3, and sublobar ictal onset zone in 1. MSI avoided contralateral electrodes in 2, who both localized on ICEEG. MSI added information to ICEEG in 1.
Conclusion: Magnetic source imaging (MSI) provided nonredundant information in 33% of patients. In those who have undergone surgery to date, MSI added useful information that changed treatment in 6 (9%), without increasing complications. MSI has benefited 21% who have gone to surgery.