Intracranial EEG in the 21st Century

Barbara C. Jobst, Fabrice Bartolomei, Beate Diehl, Birgit Frauscher, Philippe Kahane, Lorella Minotti, Ashwini Sharan, Nastasia Tardy, Gregory Worrell, Jean Gotman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


Intracranial electroencephalography (iEEG) has been the mainstay of identifying the seizure onset zone (SOZ), a key diagnostic procedure in addition to neuroimaging when considering epilepsy surgery. In many patients, iEEG has been the basis for resective epilepsy surgery, to date still the most successful treatment for drug-resistant epilepsy. Intracranial EEG determines the location and resectability of the SOZ. Advances in recording and implantation of iEEG provide multiple options in the 21st century. This not only includes the choice between subdural electrodes (SDE) and stereoelectroencephalography (SEEG) but also includes the implantation and recordings from microelectrodes. Before iEEG implantation, especially in magnetic resonance imaging -negative epilepsy, a clear hypothesis for seizure generation and propagation should be based on noninvasive methods. Intracranial EEG implantation should be planned by a multidisciplinary team considering epileptic networks. Recordings from SDE and SEEG have both their advantages and disadvantages. Stereo-EEG seems to have a lower rate of complications that are clinically significant, but has limitations in spatial sampling of the cortical surface. Stereo-EEG can sample deeper areas of the brain including deep sulci and hard to reach areas such as the insula. To determine the epileptogenic zone, interictal and ictal information should be taken into consideration. Interictal spiking, low frequency slowing, as well as high frequency oscillations may inform about the epileptogenic zone. Ictally, high frequency onsets in the beta/gamma range are usually associated with the SOZ, but specialized recordings with combined macro and microelectrodes may in the future educate us about onset in higher frequency bands. Stimulation of intracranial electrodes triggering habitual seizures can assist in identifying the SOZ. Advanced computational methods such as determining the epileptogenicity index and similar measures may enhance standard clinical interpretation. Improved techniques to record and interpret iEEG may in the future lead to a greater proportion of patients being seizure free after epilepsy surgery.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)180-188
Number of pages9
JournalEpilepsy Currents
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jul 1 2020


  • epilepsy surgery
  • epileptogenic zone
  • interictal epileptiform discharges
  • intracranial EEG
  • seizure onset zone
  • stereoencephalography (SEEG)
  • subdural electrodes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology


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