Seizure-onset regions demonstrate high inward directed connectivity during resting-state: An SEEG study in focal epilepsy

Epilepsia. 2020 Nov;61(11):2534-2544. doi: 10.1111/epi.16686. Epub 2020 Sep 18.


Objective: In patients with medically refractory focal epilepsy, stereotactic-electroencephalography (SEEG) can aid in localizing epileptogenic regions for surgical treatment. SEEG, however, requires long hospitalizations to record seizures, and ictal interpretation can be incomplete or inaccurate. Our recent work showed that non-directed resting-state analyses may identify brain regions as epileptogenic or uninvolved. Our present objective is to map epileptogenic networks in greater detail and more accurately identify seizure-onset regions using directed resting-state SEEG connectivity.

Methods: In 25 patients with focal epilepsy who underwent SEEG, 2 minutes of resting-state, artifact-free, SEEG data were selected and functional connectivity was estimated. Using standard clinical interpretation, brain regions were classified into four categories: ictogenic, early propagation, irritative, or uninvolved. Three non-directed connectivity measures (mutual information [MI] strength, and imaginary coherence between and within regions) and four directed measures (partial directed coherence [PDC] and directed transfer function [DTF], inward and outward strength) were calculated. Logistic regression was used to generate a predictive model of ictogenicity.

Results: Ictogenic regions had the highest and uninvolved regions had the lowest MI strength. Although both PDC and DTF inward strengths were highest in ictogenic regions, outward strengths did not differ among categories. A model incorporating directed and nondirected connectivity measures demonstrated an area under the receiver-operating characteristic (ROC) curve (AUC) of 0.88 in predicting ictogenicity of individual regions. The AUC of this model was 0.93 when restricted to patients with favorable postsurgical seizure outcomes.

Significance: Directed connectivity measures may help identify epileptogenic networks without requiring ictal recordings. Greater inward but not outward connectivity in ictogenic regions at rest may represent broad inhibitory input to prevent seizure generation.

Keywords: focal epilepsy; functional connectivity; intracranial EEG; localization; prediction.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Brain / diagnostic imaging
  • Brain / physiopathology*
  • Electroencephalography / methods*
  • Epilepsies, Partial / diagnostic imaging
  • Epilepsies, Partial / physiopathology*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Nerve Net / diagnostic imaging
  • Nerve Net / physiopathology*
  • Rest*
  • Stereotaxic Techniques*
  • Young Adult