Interictal regional delta slowing is an EEG marker of epileptic network in temporal lobe epilepsy

Epilepsia. 2011 Mar;52(3):467-76. doi: 10.1111/j.1528-1167.2010.02918.x. Epub 2011 Jan 4.


Purpose: Several studies have suggested that interictal regional delta slowing (IRDS) carries a lateralizing and localizing value similar to interictal spikes and is associated with favorable surgical outcomes in patients with temporal lobe epilepsy (TLE). However, whether IRDS reflects structural dysfunction or underlying epileptic activity remains controversial. The objective of this study is to determine the cortical electroencephalography (EEG) correlates of scalp-recorded IRDS, in so doing, to further understand its clinical and biologic significances.

Methods: We examined the cortical EEG substrates of IRDS with electrocorticography (ECoG-IRDS) and delineated the spatiotemporal relationship between ECoG-IRDS and both interictal and ictal discharges by recording simultaneously scalp and intracranial EEG in 18 presurgical candidates with TLE.

Key findings: Our results demonstrated that ECoG-IRDS is typically a mixture of delta/theta slowing and spike-wave potentials. ECoG-IRDS was predominantly recorded from basal and anterolateral temporal cortex, occasionally in mesial, posterior temporal, and extratemporal regions. Abundant IRDS was most commonly observed in patients with neocortical temporal lobe epilepsy (NTLE), whereas infrequent to moderate IRDS was usually observed in patients with mesial temporal lobe epilepsy (MTLE). The anatomic distribution of ECoG-IRDS was highly correlated with the irritative and seizure-onset zones in 10 patients with NTLE. However, it was poorly correlated with the irritative and seizure-onset zones in the 8 patients with MTLE.

Significance: These findings demonstrate that IRDS is an EEG marker of epileptic network in patients with TLE. Although IRDS and interictal/ictal discharges likely arise from the same neocortical generator in patients with NTLE, IRDS in patients with MTLE may reflect a network disease that involves temporal neocortex.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Brain Mapping
  • Delta Rhythm*
  • Dominance, Cerebral / physiology
  • Electrodes, Implanted
  • Electroencephalography*
  • Epilepsy, Temporal Lobe / diagnosis*
  • Epilepsy, Temporal Lobe / physiopathology*
  • Epilepsy, Temporal Lobe / surgery
  • Evoked Potentials / physiology
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Image Processing, Computer-Assisted
  • Imaging, Three-Dimensional
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging
  • Male
  • Monitoring, Physiologic
  • Neocortex / physiopathology
  • Neocortex / surgery
  • Nerve Net / physiopathology*
  • Nerve Net / surgery
  • Preoperative Care
  • Signal Processing, Computer-Assisted*
  • Temporal Lobe / physiopathology
  • Temporal Lobe / surgery
  • Young Adult