Temporal lobe epilepsy is the most common type of epilepsy in adults with medically intractable, localisation-related epilepsy, amenable to surgery. Together with clinical and neuroimaging data, presurgical ictal scalp-EEG findings are often sufficient to define the epileptogenic zone. It is widely believed that ictal scalp-EEG findings in temporal lobe epilepsy are represented by 5-9-Hz lateralised rhythmic theta activity or 2-5-Hz lateralised rhythmic delta activity. On the basis of experimental models and experience with intra-cerebral EEG recordings, the pattern of low-voltage fast activity is considered to be the electrophysiological hallmark of the epileptogenic zone. We reviewed the ictal scalp-EEG data relating to 111 seizures in 47 patients with temporal lobe epilepsy who underwent video-EEG recordings during presurgical work-up. We found that 35 patients (74.4%) showed flattening, low-voltage fast activity or fast activity as the initial EEG pattern. When visible, the rhythmic delta or theta activity followed the fast activity. Low-voltage fast activity, flattening or fast activity occurs in the majority of patients with temporal lobe epilepsy and represents the main ictal EEG pattern. Low-voltage fast activity (or similar) is also identifiable as the initial ictal EEG pattern in scalp-EEG recordings.
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