• Magnetoencephalography;
  • Neocortical epilepsy;
  • Epileptogenic zone;
  • Single and multiple clusters of dipoles;
  • Ictal-onset zone

Summary: Purpose: To characterize the epileptogenic zone in neocortical epilepsy (NE) by using magnetoencephalography (MEG).

Methods: We defined and compared locations of single and multiple clusters of equivalent current dipoles (ECDs) for interictal spikes with MRI findings, ictal-onset zones (IOZs) from subdural electroencephalography (SDEEG), resected areas, and postsurgical outcomes of 20 patients who underwent cortical resection for medically intractable NE.

Results: Fourteen patients had single clusters; six had multiple clusters. Overlap of clusters and IOZs defined group A (nine patients), in which a single cluster coincided with the IOZ; group B1 (four patients), in which a single cluster was within or partially overlapped the IOZ; group B2 (five patients), in which multiple-cluster sections overlapped IOZs; group C (two patients; one single; one multiple), in which no overlap was seen. More single clusters (nine of 14) than multiple clusters (none of six) coincided with the IOZ (p = 0.014). More patients with single clusters (10 of 14) than patients with multiple clusters (one of six) had seizure-free outcomes (p = 0.049). Eight of nine patients in group A, versus three of 11 in groups B1, B2, and C, achieved seizure-free outcomes (p = 0.0098). Correlations between MRI findings and postsurgical outcomes were not statistically significant; eight of 13 patients with single lesions, one of four with no lesions, and two of three with multifocal lesions had seizure-free outcomes.

Conclusions: In neocortical epilepsy, MEG ECD clusters correlated with SDEEG IOZs. Single clusters indicated discrete epileptogenic zones that required complete resection for seizure-free outcome. Multiple clusters necessitated that the multiple or extensive epileptogenic zones be completely identified and delineated by SDEEG.