Accuracy and spatial properties of distributed magnetic source imaging techniques in the investigation of focal epilepsy patients

Giovanni Pellegrino, Tanguy Hedrich, Manuel Porras-Bettancourt, Jean Marc Lina, Ümit Aydin, Jeffery Hall, Christophe Grova, Eliane Kobayashi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Source localization of interictal epileptiform discharges (IEDs) is clinically useful in the presurgical workup of epilepsy patients. We aimed to compare the performance of four different distributed magnetic source imaging (dMSI) approaches: Minimum norm estimate (MNE), dynamic statistical parametric mapping (dSPM), standardized low-resolution electromagnetic tomography (sLORETA), and coherent maximum entropy on the mean (cMEM). We also evaluated whether a simple average of maps obtained from multiple inverse solutions (Ave) can improve localization accuracy. We analyzed dMSI of 206 IEDs derived from magnetoencephalography recordings in 28 focal epilepsy patients who had a well-defined focus determined through intracranial EEG (iEEG), epileptogenic MRI lesions or surgical resection. dMSI accuracy and spatial properties were quantitatively estimated as: (a) distance from the epilepsy focus, (b) reproducibility, (c) spatial dispersion (SD), (d) map extension, and (e) effect of thresholding on map properties. Clinical performance was excellent for all methods (median distance from the focus MNE = 2.4 mm; sLORETA = 3.5 mm; cMEM = 3.5 mm; dSPM = 6.8 mm, Ave = 0 mm). Ave showed the lowest distance between the map maximum and epilepsy focus (Dmin lower than cMEM, MNE, and dSPM, p =.021, p =.008, p <.001, respectively). cMEM showed the best spatial features, with lowest SD outside the focus (SD lower than all other methods, p <.001 consistently) and high contrast between the generator and surrounding regions. The average map Ave provided the best localization accuracy, whereas cMEM exhibited the lowest amount of spurious distant activity. dMSI techniques have the potential to significantly improve identification of iEEG targets and to guide surgical planning, especially when multiple methods are combined.

Original languageEnglish
JournalHuman Brain Mapping
Publication statusAccepted/In press - Jan 1 2020


  • interictal epileptiform discharges
  • inverse problem
  • magnetic source imaging
  • MEG
  • presurgical evaluation
  • source localization
  • spike

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Anatomy
  • Radiological and Ultrasound Technology
  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging
  • Neurology
  • Clinical Neurology


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