Preictal variability of high-frequency oscillation rates in refractory epilepsy

Jared M. Scott, Sijin Ren, Stephen V. Gliske, William C. Stacey

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


Objective: High-frequency oscillations (HFOs) have shown promising utility in the spatial localization of the seizure onset zone for patients with focal refractory epilepsy. Comparatively few studies have addressed potential temporal variations in HFOs, or their role in the preictal period. Here, we introduce a novel evaluation of the instantaneous HFO rate through interictal and peri-ictal epochs to assess their usefulness in identifying imminent seizure onset. Methods: Utilizing an automated HFO detector, we analyzed intracranial electroencephalographic data from 30 patients with refractory epilepsy undergoing long-term presurgical evaluation. We evaluated HFO rates both as a 30-minute average and as a continuous function of time and used nonparametric statistical methods to compare individual and population-level differences in rate during peri-ictal and interictal periods. Results: Mean HFO rate was significantly higher for all epochs in seizure onset zone channels versus other channels. Across the 30 patients of our cohort, we found no statistically significant differences in mean HFO rate during preictal and interictal epochs. For continuous HFO rates in seizure onset zone channels, however, we found significant population-wide increases in preictal trends relative to interictal periods. Using a data-driven analysis, we identified a subset of 11 patients in whom either preictal HFO rates or their continuous trends were significantly increased relative to those of interictal baseline and the rest of the population. Significance: These results corroborate existing findings that HFO rates within epileptic tissue are higher during interictal periods. We show this finding is also present in preictal, ictal, and postictal data, and identify a novel biomarker of preictal state: an upward trend in HFO rate leading into seizures in some patients. Overall, our findings provide preliminary evidence that HFOs can function as a temporal biomarker of seizure onset.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2521-2533
Number of pages13
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 2020
Externally publishedYes


  • high-frequency oscillation
  • preictal biomarker
  • seizure prediction
  • temporal biomarker

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neurology
  • Clinical Neurology


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