Source imaging of seizure onset predicts surgical outcome in pediatric epilepsy

Clin Neurophysiol. 2021 Jul;132(7):1622-1635. doi: 10.1016/j.clinph.2021.03.043. Epub 2021 Apr 28.


Objective: To assess whether ictal electric source imaging (ESI) on low-density scalp EEG can approximate the seizure onset zone (SOZ) location and predict surgical outcome in children with refractory epilepsy undergoing surgery.

Methods: We examined 35 children with refractory epilepsy. We dichotomized surgical outcome into seizure- and non-seizure-free. We identified ictal onsets recorded with scalp and intracranial EEG and localized them using equivalent current dipoles and standardized low-resolution magnetic tomography (sLORETA). We estimated the localization accuracy of scalp EEG as distance of scalp dipoles from intracranial dipoles. We also calculated the distances of scalp dipoles from resection, as well as their resection percentage and compared between seizure-free and non-seizure-free patients. We built receiver operating characteristic curves to test whether resection percentage predicted outcome.

Results: Resection distance was lower in seizure-free patients for both dipoles (p = 0.006) and sLORETA (p = 0.04). Resection percentage predicted outcome with a sensitivity of 57.1% (95% CI, 34-78.2%), a specificity of 85.7% (95% CI, 57.2-98.2%) and an accuracy of 68.6% (95% CI, 50.7-83.5%) (p = 0.01).

Conclusion: Ictal ESI performed on low-density scalp EEG can delineate the SOZ and predict outcome.

Significance: Such an application may increase the number of children who are referred for epilepsy surgery and improve their outcome.

Keywords: Electroencephalography; Pediatric Epilepsy; Source Localization.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Cohort Studies
  • Electroencephalography / trends*
  • Epilepsy / diagnostic imaging*
  • Epilepsy / physiopathology*
  • Epilepsy / surgery
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging / trends
  • Male
  • Predictive Value of Tests
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Seizures / diagnostic imaging*
  • Seizures / physiopathology*
  • Seizures / surgery
  • Tomography, Emission-Computed, Single-Photon / trends
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Young Adult