The general linear model (GLM) has been used to analyze simultaneous EEG-fMRI to reveal BOLD changes linked to interictal epileptic discharges (IED) identified on scalp EEG. This approach is ineffective when IED are not evident in the EEG. Data-driven fMRI analysis techniques that do not require an EEG derived model may offer a solution in these circumstances. We compared the findings of independent components analysis (ICA) and EEG-based GLM analyses of fMRI data from eight patients with focal epilepsy. Spatial ICA was used to extract independent components (IC) which were automatically classified as either BOLD-related, motion artefacts, EPI-susceptibility artefacts, large blood vessels, noise at high spatial or temporal frequency. The classifier reduced the number of candidate IC by 78%, with an average of 16 BOLD-related IC. Concordance between the ICA and GLM-derived results was assessed based on spatio-temporal criteria. In each patient, one of the IC satisfied the criteria to correspond to TED-based GLM result. The remaining IC were consistent with BOLD patterns of spontaneous brain activity and may include epileptic activity that was not evident on the scalp EEG. In conclusion, ICA of fMRI is capable of revealing areas of epileptic activity in patients with focal epilepsy and may be useful for the analysis of EEG-fMRI data in which abnormalities are not apparent on scalp EEG.