AUTHORS: Vorderwülbecke BJ, Carboni M, Tourbier S, Brunet D, Seeber M, Spinelli L, Seeck M, Vulliemoz S

Clinical Neurophysiology, 131(12): 2795-2803, December 2020



To assess the value of caudal EEG electrodes over cheeks and neck for high-density electric source imaging (ESI) in presurgical epilepsy evaluation, and to identify the best time point during averaged interictal epileptic discharges (IEDs) for optimal ESI accuracy.


We retrospectively examined presurgical 257-channel EEG recordings of 45 patients with pharmacoresistant focal epilepsy. By stepwise removal of cheek and neck electrodes, averaged IEDs were downsampled to 219, 204, and 156 EEG channels. Additionally, ESI at the IED’s half-rise was compared to other time points. The respective sources of maximum activity were compared to the resected brain area and postsurgical outcome.


Caudal channels had disproportionately more artefacts. In 30 patients with favourable outcome, the 204-channel array yielded the most accurate results with ESI maxima < 10 mm from the resection in 67% and inside affected sublobes in 83%. Neither in temporal nor in extratemporal cases did the full 257-channel setup improve ESI accuracy. ESI was most accurate at 50% of the IED’s rising phase.


Information from cheeks and neck electrodes did not improve high-density ESI accuracy, probably due to higher artefact load and suboptimal biophysical modelling.


Very caudal EEG electrodes should be used for ESI with caution.

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