PURPOSE: We set out to establish the clinical utility of EEG-correlated fMRI as part of the presurgical evaluation, by measuring prospectively its effects on the clinical decision.
METHODS: Patients with refractory extra-temporal focal epilepsy, referred for presurgical evaluation were recruited in a period of 18 months. The EEG-fMRI based localization was presented during a multi-disciplinary meeting after the team had defined the presumed.
RESULTS: Sixteen patients (six women), with a median age of 28 years, were recruited. Interpretable EEG-fMRI results were available in 13: interictal epileptic discharges (IEDs) were recorded in eleven patients and seizures were recorded in two patients. In three patients, no epileptic activity was captured during EEG-fMRI acquisition and in two of those an IED topographic map correlation was performed (between EEG recorded inside the scanner and long-term video EEG monitoring). EEG-fMRI results presentation had no impact on the initial clinical decision in three patients (23%) of the thirteen and resulted in a modification of the initial surgical plan in ten patients (77%) of the thirteen finally presented in MDT; in eight patients the impact was on the planned placement of invasive electrodes and in two patients the EEG-fMRI led to additional non-invasive tests before proceeding further with surgery.
CONCLUSION: The study is a prospective observational cohort study specifically designed to assess the impact of EEG-fMRI on the clinical decision making process, suggesting a significant influence of EEG-fMRI on epilepsy surgery planning.