Source analysis of interictal spikes in polymicrogyria: Loss of relevant cortical fissures requires simultaneous EEG to avoid MEG misinterpretation

Thomas Bast*, Georgia Ramantani, Tobias Boppel, Tanja Metzke, Özdin Özkan, Christoph Stippich, Angelika Seitz, Andre Rupp, Dietz Rating, Michael Scherg

*Corresponding author for this work
41 Citations (Scopus)


Purpose: Multiple source analysis of interictal EEG and MEG spikes was used to identify irritative zones in polymicrogyria (PMG). Spike onset times and source localization were compared between both modalities. PMG is characterized by a marked loss of deep cortical fissures. Hence, differences between EEG and MEG were expected since MEG signals are predominantly generated from tangentially orientated neurons in fissures. Patients: We studied 7 children and young adults (age 7.5 to 19 years) with localization-related epilepsy and unilateral polymicrogyria (PMG) as defined from anatomical MRI. Methods: 122-channel whole-head MEG and 32-channel EEG were recorded simultaneously for 25 to 40 min. Using the BESA program, interictal spikes were identified visually and used as templates to search for similar spatio-temporal spike patterns throughout the recording. Detected similar spikes (r > 0.85) were averaged, high-pass filtered (5 Hz) to enhance spike onset, and subjected to multiple spatio-temporal source analysis. Source localization was visualized by superposition on T1-weighted MRI and compared to the lesion. Results: Nine spike types were identified in seven patients (2 types in 2 patients). Eight out of nine EEG sources and seven MEG sources modeling spike onset were localized within the visible lesion. EEG spike onset preceded MEG significantly in two spike types by 19 and 25 ms. This was related to radial onset activity in EEG while MEG localized propagated activity. In one case, the earliest MEG spike activity was localized to the normal hemisphere while the preceding radial EEG onset activity was localized within the lesion. Distances between EEG and MEG onset sources varied markedly between 9 and 51 mm in the eight spike types with concordant lateralization. Conclusion: Interictal irritative zones were localized within the lesion in PMG comparable to other malformations, e.g., FCD. Discrepancies in MEG and EEG were related to the lack of deep fissures in PMG. In two cases, MEG was blind to the onset of radial interictal spike activity and localized propagated spike activity. In two other cases, MEG localized to the more peripheral parts of the irritative zone. Simultaneous EEG recordings with MEG and multiple source analysis are required to avoid problems of MEG interpretation.

Original languageEnglish
Issue number4
Pages (from-to)1232-1241
Number of pages10
Publication statusPublished - 01.05.2005


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