Intracranial EEG seizure onset and termination patterns and their association

Epilepsy Res. 2021 Oct:176:106739. doi: 10.1016/j.eplepsyres.2021.106739. Epub 2021 Aug 14.


Objective: The study of seizure onset and termination patterns has the potential to enhance our understanding of the underlying mechanisms of seizure generation and cessation. It is largely unclear whether seizures with distinct onset patterns originate from varying network interactions and terminate through different termination pathways.

Methods: We investigated the morphology and location of 103 intracranial EEG seizure onset and termination patterns from 20 patients with drug-resistant focal epilepsy. We determined if seizure onset patterns were associated with specific termination patterns. Finally, we looked at network interactions prior to the generation of distinct seizure onset patterns by calculating directed functional connectivity matrices.

Results: We identified nine seizure onset and six seizure termination patterns. The most common onset pattern was Low-Voltage Fast Activity (36 %), and the most frequent termination pattern was Burst Suppression (44 %). All seizures with fast (>13 Hz) termination patterns had a fast (>13 Hz) onset pattern type. Almost any onset pattern could terminate with the Burst Suppression and rhythmic Spike/PolySpike and Wave (rSW/rPSW) termination patterns. Seizures with a fast activity onset had higher inflow to the seizure onset zone from other regions in the gamma and high gamma frequency ranges prior to their generation compared to seizures with a slow onset.

Significance: Our observations suggest that different mechanisms underlie the generation of different seizure onset patterns although seizure onset patterns can share a common termination pattern. Possible mechanisms underlying these patterns are discussed.

Keywords: Directed functional connectivity; Focal epilepsy; Intracranial EEG; Network analysis; Seizure onset patterns; Seizure termination patterns.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Drug Resistant Epilepsy*
  • Electrocorticography*
  • Electroencephalography
  • Humans
  • Seizures