Localization of ictal onset in patients with medically refractory frontal lobe epilepsy is challenging even with intracranial monitoring. We present a series of nine patients with presumed mesial frontal lobe epilepsy in whom successful localization of ictal onset was achieved in most cases. Intracranial electrodes were placed over cingulate and supplementary motor cortex bilaterally, with additional electrodes placed over lateral and inferior frontal lobes as part of an evaluation for epilepsy surgery. Localization of the ictal onset was clearly defined in seven of nine patients and was characterized by a pattern of lower amplitude beta/gamma range frequencies noted in one to four adjacent electrodes arising from cingulate cortex or supplementary motor cortex in six patients. In the remaining patient, ictal onset was characterized by periodic high amplitude spike and slow-wave discharges evolving into a higher voltage faster rhythm. Electrographic onset occurred coincident with or preceded clinical findings. Ictal pattern also did not demonstrate a widespread propagation pattern in most of the recordings in which ictal onset was well localized. Precise localization of ictal onset within the mesial frontal lobe is possible. Rapid propagation to regions within and outside the frontal lobe does not always occur.
Department of Neurology and Neurological Sciences and the Stanford Comprehensive Epilepsy Center, and the *Department of Neurosurgery, Stanford University Medical Center, Stanford, California, U.S.A.
This material was presented as a poster at the annual meeting of the American Epilepsy Society, San Francisco, CA, December 7-10, 1996.
Address correspondence and reprint requests to Dr. M. T. Toczek at Department of Neurology and Neurological Sciences, Room H3160, Stanford University Medical Center, Stanford, CA 94305, U.S.A.