Distinguishing false and true positive detections of high frequency oscillations

Stephen V. Gliske, Zihan Qin, Katy Lau, Catalina Alvarado-Rojas, Pariya Salami, Rina Zelmann, William C. Stacey

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations


Objective. High frequency oscillations (HFOs) are a promising biomarker of tissue that instigates seizures. However, ambiguous data and random background fluctuations can cause any HFO detector (human or automated) to falsely label non-HFO data as an HFO (a false positive detection). The objective of this paper was to identify quantitative features of HFOs that distinguish between true and false positive detections. Approach. Feature selection was performed using background data in multi-day, interictal intracranial recordings from ten patients. We selected the feature most similar between randomly selected segments of background data and HFOs detected in surrogate background data (false positive detections by construction). We then compared these results with fuzzy clustering of detected HFOs in clinical data to verify the feature's applicability. We validated the feature is sensitive to false versus true positive HFO detections by using an independent data set (six subjects) scored for HFOs by three human reviewers. Lastly, we compared the effect of redacting putative false positive HFO detections on the distribution of HFOs across channels and their association with seizure onset zone (SOZ) and resected volume (RV). Main results. Of the 15 analyzed features, the analysis selected only skewness of the curvature (skewCurve). The feature was validated in human scored data to be associated with distinguishing true and false positive HFO detections. Automated HFO detections with higher skewCurve were more focal based on entropy measures and had increased localization to both the SOZ and RV. Significance. We identified a quantitative feature of HFOs which helps distinguish between true and false positive detections. Redacting putative false positive HFO detections improves the specificity of HFOs as a biomarker of epileptic tissue.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numberabb89b
JournalJournal of Neural Engineering
Issue number5
StatePublished - Oct 7 2020


  • Fast ripple
  • HFO
  • Ripple

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience


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