Characterization and Comparison of Local Onset and Remote Propagated Electrographic Seizures Recorded with Intracranial Electrodes


Address correspondence and reprint requests to Dr. G. D. Cascino at EEG Laboratory, Mayo Clinic, 200 First St. S.W., Rochester, MN55905, U.S.A.


Summary: Purpose: To compared the ictal discharge patterns between local onset and remote propagated electrographic seizures recorded with chronic intracranial electrodes.

Methods: The electrophysiological data from 88 consecutive patients who underwent chronic intracranial EEG monitoring were retrospectively reviewed. The early and late discharge patterns of electrographic seizures at local onset and distant propagated sites were determined by blinded visual inspection and computerized analysis.

Results: Four early and three late electrographic seizure patterns were observed at the local onset sites. The four early patterns consisted of a rhythmic discharge in the beta range (“beta buzz”), rhythmic alpha-theta activity, rhythmic sharp waves in the delta range, and an irregular spike discharge. The three distinct late-discharge patterns consisted of a late beta buzz, rhythmic sharp theta activity, and a rhythmic polyspike and wave discharge. At remote propagated sites, electrographic seizures could be divided into two different types according to their early discharge pattern. The first was unique to remote propagated electrographic seizures and consisted of a rhythmic theta-delta activity correlated with the concurrent activity at the local-onset site. The second remote initiation type consisted of patterns indistinguishable from the earlier discharge patterns recorded at the local onset site.

Conclusions: The initial ictal discharge pattern recorded with intracranial electrodes can assist in differentiating local onset and remote propagated electrographic seizures, with rhythmic round theta-delta activity being unique to distant propagated sites. Nevertheless, the initial discharge of a subclass of remote propagated electrographic seizures consists of an independent pattern indistinguishable from that observed at local onset sites.