Noninvasive high-frequency oscillations riding spikes delineates epileptogenic sources

Zhengxiang Cai, Abbas Sohrabpour, Haiteng Jiang, Shuai Ye, Boney Joseph, Benjamin H. Brinkmann, Gregory A. Worrell, Bin He

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


High-frequency oscillations (HFOs) are a promising biomarker for localizing epileptogenic brain and guiding successful neurosurgery. However, the utility and translation of noninvasive HFOs, although highly desirable, is impeded by the difficulty in differentiating pathological HFOs from nonepileptiform high-frequency activities and localizing the epileptic tissue using noninvasive scalp recordings, which are typically contaminated with high noise levels. Here, we show that the consistent concurrence of HFOs with epileptiform spikes (pHFOs) provides a tractable means to identify pathological HFOs automatically, and this in turn demarks an epileptiform spike subgroup with higher epileptic relevance than the other spikes in a cohort of 25 temporal epilepsy patients (including a total of 2,967 interictal spikes and 1,477 HFO events). We found significant morphological distinctions of HFOs and spikes in the presence/absence of this concurrent status. We also demonstrated that the proposed pHFO source imaging enhanced localization of epileptogenic tissue by 162% (∼5.36 mm) for concordance with surgical resection and by 186% (∼12.48 mm) with seizure-onset zone determined by invasive studies, compared to conventional spike imaging, and demonstrated superior congruence with the surgical outcomes. Strikingly, the performance of spike imaging was selectively boosted by the presence of spikes with pHFOs, especially in patients with multitype spikes. Our findings suggest that concurrent HFOs and spikes reciprocally discriminate pathological activities, providing a translational tool for noninvasive presurgical diagnosis and postsurgical evaluation in vulnerable patients.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere2011130118
JournalProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Issue number17
StatePublished - Apr 27 2021


  • Electrophysiological source imaging
  • Electrophysiology
  • Epilepsy
  • High-frequency oscillations

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General


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