Intrinsic epileptogenicity of human dysplastic cortex as suggested by corticography and surgical results

Ann Neurol. 1995 Apr;37(4):476-87. doi: 10.1002/ana.410370410.


Cortical dysplastic lesions (CDyLs) are often associated with severe partial epilepsies. We describe the electrographic counterpart of this high degree of epileptogenicity, manifested by continuous or frequent rhythmic epileptogenic discharges recorded directly from CDyLs during intraoperative electrocorticography (ECoG). These ictal or continuous epileptogenic discharges (I/CEDs) assumed one of the following three patterns: (1) repetitive electrographic seizures, (2) repetitive bursting discharges, or (3) continuous or quasicontinuous rhythmic spiking. One or more of these patterns were present in 23 of 34 patients (67%) with intractable partial epilepsy associated with CDyLs, and in only 1 of 40 patients (2.5%) with intractable partial epilepsy associated with other types of structural lesions. I/CEDs were usually spatially restricted, thus contrasting with the more widespread interictal ECoG epileptic activity, and tended to colocalize with the magnetic resonance imaging-defined lesion. Completeness of excision of cortical tissue displaying I/CEDs correlated positively with surgical outcome in patients with medically intractable seizures; i.e., three-fourths of the patients in whom it was entirely excised had favorable surgical outcome; in contrast, uniformly poor outcome was observed in those patients in whom areas containing I/CEDs remained in situ. We conclude that CDyLs are highly and intrinsically epileptogenic, and that intraoperative ECoG identification of this intrinsically epileptogenic dysplastic cortical tissue is crucial to decide the extent of excision for best seizure control.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Cerebral Cortex / physiopathology*
  • Cerebral Cortex / surgery
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Electroencephalography
  • Epilepsies, Partial / physiopathology*
  • Epilepsies, Partial / surgery
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Male
  • Treatment Outcome