Postoperative interictal spikes during sleep contralateral to the operated side is associated with unfavourable surgical outcome in patients with preoperative bitemporal spikes

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Purpose: To correlate the persistence of contralateral spikes during sleep after unilateral surgery with seizure outcome in a temporal lobe epilepsy (TLE) population and to test the existing hypotheses about the origin of the contralateral spikes in temporal lobe epilepsy. Methods: In the 19 patients selected for this study unilateral temporal lobe surgery was performed. To investigate the course of bilateral interictal epileptiform discharges observed before surgery in awake or sleep over the temporal lobe contralateral to surgery, 24 h mobile 12 channel EEG recording was performed at minimum two, in average 4.6 (2-10) years after the surgery. Results: The association of postoperative contralateral spikes and non-seizure free outcome was highly significant. The existence of unilateral pathology before surgery was highly predictive for good outcome and disappearance of contralateral spikes. The association between good seizure outcome, disappearance of contralateral spikes and the existence of unilateral pathology before surgery was also significant. Our data partially satisfies the expectations of both the "seizure induced" and mirror type secondary epileptogenesis hypotheses concerning origin of contralateral spikes, but were not completely congruent with either of them. Conclusions: Unfavourable surgical outcome in a temporal lobe epilepsy group with preoperative independent bilateral interictal spikes was associated with the persistence of postoperative contralateral spikes and lack of unilateral pathology. Compared with seizure outcome the presence/absence and distribution of postoperative interictal spikes in NREM sleep not entirely fit to the predictions of existing secondary epileptogenesis hypotheses.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)460-466
Number of pages7
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2004



  • Bitemporal spikes
  • Postoperative contralateral spiking
  • Postoperative outcome
  • Secondary epileptogenesis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neurology
  • Clinical Neurology

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