Visual and Quantitative Ictal EEG Predictors of Outcome After Temporal Lobectomy


  • Bassam A. Assaf,

    Corresponding author
    1. Department of Neurology, Saint Louis University, St. Louis, Missouri
    Search for more papers by this author
  • John S. Ebersole

    1. Department of Neurology, Yale University School of Medicine, New Haven, and Neurology Service, Epilepsy Center, VA Connecticut Healthcare System, West Haven, Connecticut, U.S.A.
    Search for more papers by this author

Address correspondence and reprint requests to Dr. B. A. Assaf at Department of Neurology, Saint Louis University, 3635 Vista at Grand, St. Louis, MO 63110, U.S.A.


Summary: Purpose: We investigated whether visual and quantitative ictal EEG analysis could predict surgical outcome after anteromesial temporal lobectomy (AMTL) in which mesial structures, basal, and temporal tip cortex were resected.

Methods: We retrospectively reviewed 282 presurgical scalp-recorded ictal EEGs (21- to 27-channel) from 75 patients who underwent AMTL. We examined the pattern of seizure onset (frequency, distribution, and evolution) and estimated the principal underlying cerebral generators by using a multiple fixed dipole model that decomposes temporal lobe activity into four sublobar sources (Focus 1.1). We correlated findings with a 2-year postoperative outcome.

Results: Sixteen patients had seizures with a well-lateralized, regular 5 to 9-Hz rhythm at onset, that most often had a temporal or subtemporal distribution. All patients became seizure free after surgery. In 51 patients, seizure onset was remarkable for lateralized slow rhythms (>5 Hz), which sometimes appeared as periodic discharges, were often irregular and stable only for short periods (>5 s), and had a widespread lateral temporal distribution. Among these a favorable surgical outcome was encountered in patients with seizures having prominent anterior-tip sources (16 of 17 seizure free), whereas those with dominant lateral or oblique sources had a less favorable outcome (three of 14 and 13 of 18, respectively). Irregular, nonlateralized slowing characterized seizure onsets in eight patients. Three patients became seizure free after surgery.

Conclusions: Both visual and quantitative sublobar source analysis of scalp ictal EEG can predict surgical outcome in most cases after AMTL and complement non-invasive presurgical evaluation.