Scientific article
Open access

Spike-microstates correlate with interictal epileptogenic discharges: a marker for hidden epileptic activity

Published inBrain communications, vol. 5, no. 3, fcad124
Publication date2023-05-02
First online date2023-04-18

Objectively estimating disease severity and treatment success is a main problem in outpatient managing of epilepsy. Self-reported seizures diaries are well-known to underestimate the actual seizure count, and repeated EEGs might not show interictal epileptiform discharges (IEDs), although patients suffer from seizures. In this prospective study, we investigate the potential of microstate analysis to monitor epilepsy patients independently of their IED count.

From our databank of candidates for epilepsy surgery, we included 18 patients who underwent controlled resting EEG sessions (with eyes closed, 30 min), at around the same time of the day, during at least four days (range: 4–8 days; mean: 5). Nine patients with temporal foci, six with extratemporal foci, and three with generalized epilepsy were included. Each patient’s IEDs were marked and the topographic voltage maps of the IED peaks were averaged, and an individual average spike topography (AST) was created. The AST was then backfitted to each timepoint of the whole EEG resulting in the Spike-Microstate (SMS). The presence of the SMS in the residual EEG outside of the short IEDs epochs was determined for each recording session in each patient and correlated with the occurrence of the IEDs across all recording session, as well as with the drug charge of each day.

Overall, SMS was much more represented in the routine EEG than the IEDs: they were identified 262 times more often than IEDs. The SMS time coverage correlated significantly with the IED occurrence rate (rho = 0.56; P < 0.001). If only patients with focal epilepsy were considered, this correlation was even higher rho = 0.69 (P < 0.001). Drug charge per day did not correlate with SMS.

In this proof-of-concept study, the time coverage of SMS correlated strongly with the occurrence rate of the IEDs, they can be retrieved in the scalp EEG at a much higher occurrence rate. We conclude that SMS, once obtained for a given patient, are a more abundant marker of hidden epileptic activity than IEDs, in particular in focal epilepsy, and can be used also in absence of IEDs. Future larger studies are needed to verify its potential as monitoring tool and to determine cut-off values when drug protection becomes imperfect.

  • EEG
  • Biomarker
  • Epilepsy
  • Microstates
  • Pre-surgical evaluation
Citation (ISO format)
ROCHAS, Vincent et al. Spike-microstates correlate with interictal epileptogenic discharges: a marker for hidden epileptic activity. In: Brain communications, 2023, vol. 5, n° 3, p. fcad124. doi: 10.1093/braincomms/fcad124
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Article (Published version)
ISSN of the journal2632-1297

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