We used continuous electroencephalography-functional magnetic resonance imaging (EEG-fMRI) to identify the linkage between the “epileptogenic” and the “irritative” area in a patient with symptomatic epilepsy (cavernoma, previously diagnosed and surgically treated), i.e. a patient with a well known “epileptogenic area”, and to increase the possibility of a non invasive pre-surgical evaluation of drug-resistant epilepsies. A compatible MRI system was used (EEG with 29 scalp electrodes and two electrodes for ECG and EMG) and signals were recorded with a 1.5 Tesla MRI scanner. After the recording session and MRI artifact removal, EEG data were analyzed offline and used as paradigms in fMRI study. Activation (EEG sequences with interictal slow-spiked-wave activity) and rest (sequences of normal EEG) conditions were compared to identify the potential resulting focal increase in BOLD signal and to consider if this is spatially linked to the interictal focus used as a paradigm and to the lesion. We noted an increase in the BOLD signal in the left neocortical temporal region, laterally and posteriorly to the poro-encephalic cavity (residual of cavernoma previously removed), that is around the “epileptogenic area”. In our study “epileptogenic” and “irritative” areas were connected with each other. Combined EEG-fMRI may become routine in clinical practice for a better identification of an irritative and lesional focus in patients with symptomatic drug-resistant epilepsy.
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