Localization of musicogenic epilepsy to Heschl's gyrus and superior temporal plane: case report

J Neurosurg. 2018 Jul;129(1):157-164. doi: 10.3171/2017.3.JNS162559. Epub 2017 Sep 15.


Musicogenic epilepsy (ME) is an extremely rare form of the disorder that is provoked by listening to or playing music, and it has been localized to the temporal lobe. The number of reported cases of ME in which intracranial electroencephalography (iEEG) has been used for seizure focus localization is extremely small, especially with coverage of the superior temporal plane (STP) and specifically, Heschl's gyrus (HG). The authors describe the case of a 17-year-old boy with a history of medically intractable ME who underwent iEEG monitoring that involved significant frontotemporal coverage as well as coverage of the STP with an HG depth electrode anteriorly and a planum temporale depth electrode posteriorly. Five seizures occurred during the monitoring period, and a seizure onset zone was localized to HG and the STP. The patient subsequently underwent right temporal neocortical resection, involving the STP and including HG, with preservation of the mesial temporal structures. The patient remains seizure free 1 year postoperatively. To the authors' knowledge, this is the first reported case of ME in which the seizure focus has been localized to HG and the STP with iEEG monitoring. The authors review the literature on iEEG findings in ME, explain their approach to HG depth electrode placement, and discuss the utility of STP depth electrodes in temporal lobe epilepsy.

Keywords: AED = antiepileptic drug; ATL = anterior temporal lobectomy; EEG = electroencephalography; HG = Heschl’s gyrus; Heschl’s gyrus depth electrode; ME = musicogenic epilepsy; PT = planum temporale; STG = superior temporal gyrus; STP = superior temporal plane; iEEG = intracranial EEG; intracranial electroencephalography; medically refractory epilepsy; musicogenic epilepsy; superior temporal plane.

Publication types

  • Case Reports
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Auditory Cortex*
  • Epilepsy, Temporal Lobe / etiology*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Music*