To develop an innovative brain mapping and neuromonitoring method during neurosurgery, the authors set out to establish intraoperative flavoprotein fluorescence imaging (iFFI) to directly visualize cortical activations in human brain. The significance of iFFI was analyzed by comparison with intraoperative perfusion-dependent imaging (iPDI), which is considered the conventional optical imaging, and by performing animal experiments.
Seven patients with intracerebral tumors were examined by iFFI and iPDI following craniotomy, using a single operative microscope equipped with a laser light source for iFFI and xenon lamp for iPDI. Images were captured by the same charge-coupled device camera. Responses to bipolar stimulation at selected points on the cortical surface were analyzed off-line, and relative signal changes were visualized by overlaying pseudocolor intensity maps onto cortical photographs. Signal changes exceeding 3 SDs from baseline were defined as significant. The authors also performed FFI and PDI on 10 mice using similar settings, and then compared signal patterns to intraoperative studies.
Signals acquired by iFFI exhibited biphasic spatiotemporal changes consisting of an early positive signal peak (F1) and a delayed negative signal peak (F2). In contrast, iPDI signals exhibited only 1 negative peak (P1) that was significantly delayed compared to F1 (p < 0.02) and roughly in phase with F2. Compared to F2 and P1, F1 was of significantly lower amplitude (p < 0.02) and located closer to the bipolar stimulus center (p < 0.03), whereas F2 and P1 were more widespread, irregular, and partially overlapping. In mice, the spatiotemporal characteristics of FFI and PDI resembled those of iFFI and iPDI, but the early positive signal was more robust than F1.
This is the first report in humans of successful intraoperative visualization of cortical activations by using iFFI, which showed rapid evoked cortical activity prior to perfusion-dependent signal changes. Further technical improvements can lead to establishment of iFFI as a real-time intraoperative tool.
CCD = charge-coupled device; FFI = flavoprotein fluorescence imaging; F0 = basal fluorescence; ΔF/F0 = change in fluorescence; iFFI = intraoperative FFI; iOI = intraoperative optical imaging; iPDI = intraoperative PDI; PDI = perfusion-dependent imaging; ROI = region of interest; R0 = basal reflectance; ΔR/R0 = change in reflectance.
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