• Temporal lobe epilepsy;
  • Surgery;
  • Outcome;
  • Propagation;
  • Intracranial EEG

Summary: Purpose: Interhemispheric propagation of seizures in temporal lobe epilepsy is frequently noted during intracranial EEG monitoring. We hypothesized that a distinct secondary electrographic seizure (DSES) in the temporal lobe contralateral to primary seizure onset may be an unfavorable prognostic indicator.

Methods: We reviewed intracranial depth electrode EEG recordings, 1-year outcome, and medical records of 51 patients (M 29, F 22: age 15–64 years) who underwent anterior temporal lobectomy during 1988–96. We defined DSES as a seizure that spread to the contralateral temporal lobe and produced distinct contralateral EEG features. The distinct feature was focal involvement of one or two electrode contacts at onset, which starts and evolves independently from the ipsilateral temporal lobe. We considered DSES as the predominant seizure pattern when it occurred in more than one half of the patients' recorded seizures.

Results: Only nine of 19 (47%) patients with predominant DSES had a 1-year seizure-free outcome, whereas 27 of 32 (84%) patients without predominant DSES had a 1-year seizure-free outcome (p <0.01). Bitemporal independent seizures were more common in patients with predominant DSES (9/19 versus 0/32; p <0.001).

Conclusion: Our results suggest that distinct contralateral secondary electrographic seizure is a predictor of unfavorable outcome and is also more likely to be associated with bitemporal seizures.