AUTHORS: Wirsich J, Iannotti GR, Ridley B, Shamshiri EA, Sheybani L, Grouiller F, Bartolomei F, Seeck M, Lazeyras F, Ranjeva J, Guye M, Vulliemoz S

medRxiv Preprint Server for Medical Sciences, : , September 2022


Whole brain, large-scale functional connectivity networks or connectomes have been characterized on different temporal and spatial scales in humans using EEG and fMRI. Whole brain epileptic networks have been investigated with both EEG and fMRI, but due to the different acquisition approaches it is unclear to what extent those results can be related. In consequence clinical research in epilepsy would profit from a unified multimodal functional connectome description as a linking framework to better map underlying brain function and pathological functional networks. In this study we aim to characterize the spatial correlation between EEG and fMRI connectivity in temporal lobe epilepsy.

From two independent centers, we acquired resting-state concurrent EEG-fMRI from a total of 35 healthy controls and 34 TLE patients (18 right TLE and 16 left TLE). Data was projected into the Desikan brain atlas (mean BOLD activity for fMRI and source reconstruction for EEG). Whole brain functional connectivity from fMRI (Pearson correlation) and EEG (corrected imaginary part of the coherency) were correlated for all subjects.

In healthy controls, average EEG and fMRI whole-brain connectivity was moderately correlated (r∼0.3). For both imaging centers, correlation between EEG and fMRI whole brain connectivity was increased in rTLE when compared to controls for lower frequency bands (EEG-delta, theta and alpha). Conversely correlation between EEG and fMRI connectivity of lTLE patients was decreased in respect to healthy subjects (EEG-beta vs. fMRI connectivity only). While the alteration of the EEG-fMRI correlation in rTLE patients could not be related to a local effect, in lTLE patients it was locally linked to the Default Mode Network.

We demonstrated, using two independent datasets, that EEG and fMRI connectivity is correlated for both healthy subjects and patients. The increased correlation of EEG and fMRI connectivity in rTLE patients vs. controls and decreased correlation in lTLE patients vs. controls suggests a differential organization of mono-lateral focal epilepsy of the same type, which needs to be considered when comparing fMRI to EEG connectivity. It also demonstrates that each modality provides distinct information, highlighting the benefit of multimodal assessment in epilepsy. The observed property of distinct topological patterns depending on the lateralization of the epilepsy could be taken into account when clinically defining the epileptic focus of patients.

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