Rapid eye movement sleep reveals epileptogenic spikes for resective surgery in children with generalized interictal discharges
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OBJECTIVE: Epilepsy surgery can be successful in children with extensive congenital or early acquired focal or hemispheric brain lesion on magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) despite generalized interictal epileptiform discharges (IEDs). The aim of this study was to assess if rapid eye movement (REM) sleep reduced generalized IEDs and revealed lateralized IEDs to identify the epileptogenic hemisphere in children with generalized IEDs and normal/subtle changes on MRI. METHODS: We studied 20 children with generalized IEDs on scalp electroencephalography (EEG) and normal/subtle changes on MRI who underwent intracranial video-EEG for epilepsy surgery. We assessed a minimum of 100 IEDs during REM, non-REM, and wakefulness, and assigned the distribution (generalized, left, or right hemisphere) to each IED. The number of lobes in the resected areas and seizure outcome were compared between 20 children with generalized IEDs and a comparison group of 28 children without generalized IEDs. RESULTS: The mean occurrence rate of generalized IEDs during REM (37%) was significantly lower than that during non-REM (67%, p < 0.001) and wakefulness (54%, p = 0.003). The number of children whose largest number of IEDs was lateralized in REM was significantly higher than that in non-REM (15 vs. 3 children, 75% vs. 15%, p < 0.001). The hemisphere with lateralized IEDs among three states corresponded with the surgical side in 16 children with generalized IEDs. Seventeen children (85%) with generalized IEDs and 27 (96%) without generalized IEDs underwent resective surgery. Multilobar resection was required for 16 children (94%) with generalized IEDs more frequently than 7 children (26%) without generalized IEDs (p < 0.001). Thirteen children (77%) with generalized IEDs and 19 (73%) without generalized IEDs were seizure-free with a mean of 3.3 years of follow-up. SIGNIFICANCE: Our study demonstrates the importance of assessing REM in children with generalized IEDs as it reveals lateralized epileptogenic spikes. Seizure freedom may be achieved with multilobar resection in these children with generalized IEDs and normal/subtle changes on MRI. Generalized IEDs in children with normal/subtle changes on MRI should not preclude surgical resection.
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