Use of Cavernous Sinus EEG in the Detection of Seizure Onset and Spread in Mesial Temporal Lobe Epilepsy


Address correspondence and reprint requests to Dr. Hiroshi Shibasaki at Department of Neurology, Kyoto University Graduate School of Medicine, 54 Kawahara-cho, Shogoin, Sakyo-ku, Kyoto, 606–8507, Japan. E-mail:


Summary: Purpose: The study goal was to evaluate the clinical usefulness of intravenous EEG recording by placing wire electrodes in the cavernous sinus (CS) and the superior petrosal sinus (SPS) in patients with intractable temporal lobe epilepsy (TLE), with special emphasis on the ictal recording.

Methods: We placed Seeker Lite- 10 guide wire as electrodes in the bilateral CS, SPS, or both to simultaneously record both ictal and interictal EEGs with the scalp EEG in five patients with TLE. In addition, in one patient, we averaged interictal scalp and intravascular EEG time-locked to the epileptiform discharge recorded from the CS/SPS-EEG to further delineate the relationship of the spikes between scalp and intravenous recording.

Results: In four of five patients, clinically useful recording was obtained to determine ictal focus. We recorded habitual seizures in three patients, and the detailed characteristics of ictal epileptiform discharges were shown. The averaged waveform of interictal epileptiform discharges clarified the spike distribution in the scalp EEGs, which was otherwise undetectable in the single trace. All of the patients completed the intravenous EEG monitoring without any neurological or psychological problems.

Conclusions: The CS/SPS-EEG is a relatively noninvasive method that is useful for the detection of ictal focus and its spreading pattern and thus for the selection of surgical candidate among patients with intractable TLE. Although the number of seizures detected during the short monitoring period may be limited, due to the advantages of its safety and simplicity, it is worth trying for potential surgical candidates before more invasive examinations are applied. A further study with a larger number of patients is needed to estimate its practical risk.