gms | German Medical Science

68th Annual Meeting of the German Society of Neurosurgery (DGNC)
7th Joint Meeting with the British Neurosurgical Society (SBNS)

German Society of Neurosurgery (DGNC)

14 - 17 May 2017, Magdeburg

Connectivity delineating the propagation of ictal epileptic activity in stereo-EEG recording identified by global fiber tractography

Meeting Abstract

  • Julia M. Nakagawa - Department of Neurosurgery, Freiburg, Deutschland
  • Thilo Hammen - Epilepsy Center, Department of Neurosurgery, University Medical Center Freiburg, Freiburg, Deutschland
  • Marco Reisert - Department of Radiology, Medical Physics, University Medical Center Freiburg, Freiburg, Deutschland
  • Elias Kellner - Department of Radiology, Medical Physics, University Medical Center Freiburg, Freiburg, Deutschland
  • Irina Mader - Department of Neuroradiology, University Medical Center Freiburg, Freiburg, Deutschland
  • Peter Reinacher - Department of Neurosurgery, Division of Stereotactic and Functional Neurosurgery, University Medical Center Freiburg, Freiburg, Deutschland

Deutsche Gesellschaft für Neurochirurgie. Society of British Neurological Surgeons. 68. Jahrestagung der Deutschen Gesellschaft für Neurochirurgie (DGNC), 7. Joint Meeting mit der Society of British Neurological Surgeons (SBNS). Magdeburg, 14.-17.05.2017. Düsseldorf: German Medical Science GMS Publishing House; 2017. DocDI.19.06

doi: 10.3205/17dgnc290, urn:nbn:de:0183-17dgnc2909

Published: June 9, 2017

© 2017 Nakagawa et al.
This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License. See license information at



Objective: Focal epilepsy due to structural changes is a major cause of pharmaco-resistant epilepsy often treated by epilepsy surgery. Stereo-EEG recording enables the detection of the epileptogenic focus and propagation patterns of the epileptic activity. The intention of our study was to precisely delineate structural pathways of epileptogenic propagation by global fiber tracking and evaluate the possible diagnostic value for presurgical assessment.

Methods: Seven patients with focal epilepsy undergoing invasive epileptological assessment were included in the study. Pre-operative high-angular diffusion weighted images were acquired with 61 directions on a 3Tesla MRI scanner and whole brain global fiber tracking was performed. Multiple temporal and extratemporal depth electrodes were placed (mean n=10/patient) in frame-based stereotactic surgery. The electrode position was confirmed by post-operative MRI and the epileptogenic focus and early propagation pattern was evaluated by stereo-EEG recording. The exact electrode contact positions (total n=64) detecting the epileptogenic focus and the target points of early propagation were identified on the stereotactic treatment plan and were transferred into a MCP-based coordinate system. MRI T1w3D sequences were superimposed on color encoded DTI images, postprocessed for global fiber tracking and transferred into a common space using an inhouse software. Fiber tracts were extracted and connectivity was analyzed along the electroencephalographic propagation pathway. For control, fiber tracts originating in the epileptogenic lesion but without functional connectivity to randomly chosen contacts (n=28) were analyzed for structural connection.

Results: The exact localization of ictal epileptogenicity and delineation of fiber tracts by global fiber tracking provides evidence of significantly increased structural connectivity (47.2%) of the epileptogenic focus to regions of early propagation (p<0.001) compared to those without detected propagation (34.7%).

Conclusion: The analysis of functional and structural connectivity based on a high spatial accuracy and global tractography methods reveals an increase of connectivity along pathways of early propagation of epileptic activity. This method therefore proves to be promising for further investigation regarding the connectivity of epileptogenic lesions and may offer an additional diagnostic method for profound presurgical assessment and subsequent operative therapy.