Development and Validation of the 5-SENSE Score to Predict Focality of the Seizure-Onset Zone as Assessed by Stereoelectroencephalography

Alexandra Astner-Rohracher, Georg Zimmermann*, Tamir Avigdor, Chifaou Abdallah, Nirav Barot, Milan Brázdil, Irena Doležalová, Jean Gotman, Jeffery Alan Hall, Kirsten Ikeda, Philippe Kahane, Gudrun Kalss, Vasileios Kokkinos, Markus Leitinger, Ioana Mindruta, Lorella Minotti, Mary Margaret Mizera, Irina Oane, Mark Richardson, Stephan U. SchueleEugen Trinka, Alexandra Urban, Benjamin Whatley, François Dubeau, Birgit Frauscher

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Importance: Stereoelectroencephalography (SEEG) has become the criterion standard in case of inconclusive noninvasive presurgical epilepsy workup. However, up to 40% of patients are subsequently not offered surgery because the seizure-onset zone is less focal than expected or cannot be identified. Objective: To predict focality of the seizure-onset zone in SEEG, the 5-point 5-SENSE score was developed and validated. Design, Setting, and Participants: This was a monocentric cohort study for score development followed by multicenter validation with patient selection intervals between February 2002 to October 2018 and May 2002 to December 2019. The minimum follow-up period was 1 year. Patients with drug-resistant epilepsy undergoing SEEG at the Montreal Neurological Institute were analyzed to identify a focal seizure-onset zone. Selection criteria were 2 or more seizures in electroencephalography and availability of complete neuropsychological and neuroimaging data sets. For validation, patients from 9 epilepsy centers meeting these criteria were included. Analysis took place between May and July 2021. Main Outcomes and Measures: Based on SEEG, patients were grouped as focal and nonfocal seizure-onset zone. Demographic, clinical, electroencephalography, neuroimaging, and neuropsychology data were analyzed, and a multiple logistic regression model for developing a score to predict SEEG focality was created and validated in an independent sample. Results: A total of 128 patients (57 women [44.5%]; median [range] age, 31 [13-58] years) were analyzed for score development and 207 patients (97 women [46.9%]; median [range] age, 32 [16-70] years) were analyzed for validation. The score comprised the following 5 predictive variables: focal lesion on structural magnetic resonance imaging, absence of bilateral independent spikes in scalp electroencephalography, localizing neuropsychological deficit, strongly localizing semiology, and regional ictal scalp electroencephalography onset. The 5-SENSE score had an optimal mean (SD) probability cutoff for identifying a focal seizure-onset zone of 37.6 (3.5). Area under the curve, specificity, and sensitivity were 0.83, 76.3% (95% CI, 66.7-85.8), and 83.3% (95% CI, 72.30-94.1), respectively. Validation showed 76.0% (95% CI, 67.5-84.0) specificity and 52.3% (95% CI, 43.0-61.5) sensitivity. Conclusions and Relevance: High specificity in score development and validation confirms that the 5-SENSE score predicts patients where SEEG is unlikely to identify a focal seizure-onset zone. It is a simple and useful tool for assisting clinicians to reduce unnecessary invasive diagnostic burden on patients and overutilization of limited health care resources..

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)70-79
Number of pages10
JournalJAMA Neurology
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2022

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology


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