Nonhabitual seizures in patients with implanted subdural electrodes.

Research paper by Kostas N KN Fountas, Donald W DW King, Patrick D PD Jenkins, Joseph R JR Smith

Indexed on: 06 Nov '04Published on: 06 Nov '04Published in: Stereotactic and functional neurosurgery


The implantation of subdural electrodes has been widely employed in the invasive monitoring of patients with medically refractory epilepsy. The use of subdural electrodes, though, has been associated with rare but occasionally troublesome complications. We report the occurrence of nonhabitual seizures after implanting subdural grid electrodes. Among 57 patients diagnosed with medically refractory epilepsy who were evaluated in our department over a 12-month period, 21 patients underwent craniotomy for subdural grid/strip electrode implantation. Subdural grids and strips (AdTech, Racine, Wisc., USA) were used for continuous video EEG monitoring. In 3 patients, during subdural monitoring, consistent nonhabitual seizure activity was recorded. This was both clinically and electrographically different than the patients' habitual seizures. The patients' nonhabitual seizures disappeared postoperatively after removing the implanted electrodes. The occurrence of nonhabitual seizures, though quite rare, could lead to mislocalization of an epileptogenic focus. This complication might be the result of direct mechanical cortical irritation or chemical irritation caused by blood breakdown products. The occurrence of nonhabitual seizures comes to add itself to the existing list of complications associated with employment of subdural electrodes for invasive monitoring.