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Nico Sollmann, Chiara Negwer, Lorena Tussis, Theresa Hauck, Sebastian Ille, Stefanie Maurer, Katrin Giglhuber, Jan S. Bauer, Florian Ringel, Bernhard Meyer, and Sandro M. Krieg

OBJECTIVE

Resection of brain tumors in language-eloquent areas entails the risk of postoperative aphasia. It has been demonstrated via navigated transcranial magnetic stimulation (nTMS) that language function can partially shift to the unaffected hemisphere due to tumor-induced plasticity. Therefore, this study was designed to evaluate whether interhemispheric connectivity (IC) detected by nTMS-based diffusion tensor imaging–fiber tracking (DTI-FT) can be used to predict surgery-related aphasia in patients with brain tumors.

METHODS

Thirty-eight patients with left-sided perisylvian brain lesions underwent cortical language mapping of both hemispheres by nTMS prior to awake surgery. Then, nTMS-based DTI-FT was conducted with a fractional anisotropy (FA) of 0.01 and 0.2 to visualize nTMS-based IC. Receiver operating characteristics were calculated for the prediction of a postoperative (irrespective of the preoperative state) and a new surgery-related aphasia by the presence of detectable IC.

RESULTS

Language mapping by nTMS was possible in all patients. Seventeen patients (44.7%) suffered from surgery-related worsening of language performance (transient aphasia according to 3-month follow-up in 16 subjects [42.1%]; new permanent aphasia according to 3-month follow-up in 1 patient [2.6%]). Regarding the correlation of aphasia to nTMS-based IC, statistically significant differences were revealed for both evaluated FA values. However, better results were observed for tractography with an FA of 0.2, which led to a specificity of 93% (postoperative aphasia) and 90% (surgery-related aphasia). For postoperative aphasia, the corresponding OR was 0.1282 (95% CI 0.0143–1.1520), and for surgery-related aphasia the OR was 0.1184 (95% CI 0.0208–0.6754).

CONCLUSIONS

According to these results, IC detected by preoperative nTMS-based DTI-FT might be regarded as a risk factor for surgery-related aphasia, with a specificity of up to 93%. However, because the majority of enrolled patients suffered from transient aphasia postoperatively, it has to be evaluated whether this approach distinctly leads to similar results among patients with permanent language deficits. Despite this restriction, this approach might contribute to individualized patient consultation prior to tumor resection in clinical practice.

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Lucia Bulubas, Jamil Sabih, Afra Wohlschlaeger, Nico Sollmann, Theresa Hauck, Sebastian Ille, Florian Ringel, Bernhard Meyer, and Sandro M. Krieg

OBJECTIVE

Because of its huge clinical potential, the importance of premotor areas for motor function itself and plastic reshaping due to tumors or ischemic brain lesions has received increased attention. Thus, in this study the authors used navigated transcranial magnetic stimulation (nTMS) to investigate whether tumorous brain lesions induce a change in motor cortex localization in the human brain.

METHODS

Between 2010 and 2013, nTMS motor mapping was performed in a prospective cohort of 100 patients with brain tumors in or adjacent to the rolandic cortex. Spatial data analysis was performed by normalization of the individual motor maps and creation of overlays according to tumor location. Analysis of motor evoked potential (MEP) latencies was performed regarding mean overall latencies and potentially polysynaptic latencies, defined as latencies longer than 1 SD above the mean value. Hemispheric dominance, lesion location, and motor-function deficits were also considered.

RESULTS

Graphical analysis showed that motor areas were not restricted to the precentral gyrus. Instead, they spread widely in the anterior-posterior direction. An analysis of MEP latency showed that mean MEP latencies were shortest in the precentral gyrus and longest in the superior and middle frontal gyri. The percentage of latencies longer than 1 SD differed widely across gyri. The dominant hemisphere showed a greater number of longer latencies than the nondominant hemisphere (p < 0.0001). Moreover, tumor location–dependent changes in distribution of polysynaptic latencies were observed (p = 0.0002). Motor-function deficit did not show any statistically significant effect.

CONCLUSIONS

The distribution of primary and polysynaptic motor areas changes in patients with brain tumors and highly depends on tumor location. Thus, these data should be considered for resection planning.

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Ehab Shiban, Sandro M. Krieg, Bernhard Haller, Niels Buchmann, Thomas Obermueller, Tobias Boeckh-Behrens, Maria Wostrack, Bernhard Meyer, and Florian Ringel

OBJECT

Subcortical stimulation is a method used to evaluate the distance from the stimulation site to the corticospinal tract (CST) and to decide whether the resection of an adjacent lesion should be terminated to prevent damage to the CST. However, the correlation between stimulation intensity and distance to the CST has not yet been clearly assessed. The objective of this study was to investigate the appropriate correlation between the subcortical stimulation pattern and the distance to the CST.

METHODS

Monopolar subcortical motor evoked potential (MEP) mapping was performed in addition to continuous MEP monitoring in 37 consecutive patients with lesions located in motor-eloquent locations. The proximity of the resection cavity to the CST was identified by subcortical MEP mapping. At the end of resection, the point at which an MEP response was still measurable with minimal subcortical MEP intensity was marked with a titanium clip. At this location, different stimulation paradigms were executed with cathodal or anodal stimulation at 0.3-, 0.5-, and 0.7-msec pulse durations. Postoperatively, the distance between the CST as defined by postoperative diffusion tensor imaging fiber tracking and the titanium clip was measured. The correlation between this distance and the subcortical MEP electrical charge was calculated.

RESULTS

Subcortical MEP mapping was successful in all patients. There were no new permanent motor deficits. Transient new postoperative motor deficits were observed in 14% (5/36) of cases. Gross-total resection was achieved in 75% (27/36) and subtotal resection (> 80% of tumor mass) in 25% (9/36) of cases. Stimulation intensity with various pulse durations as well as current intensity was plotted against the measured distance between the CST and the titanium clip on postoperative MRI using diffusion-weighted imaging fiberitracking tractography. Correlational and regression analyses showed a nonlinear correlation between stimulation intensity and the distance to the CST. Cathodal stimulation appeared better suited for subcortical stimulation.

CONCLUSIONS

Subcortical MEP mapping is an excellent intraoperative method to determine the distance to the CST during resection of motor-eloquent lesions and is highly capable of further reducing the risk of a new neurological deficit.

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Ehab Shiban, Sandro M. Krieg, Thomas Obermueller, Maria Wostrack, Bernhard Meyer, and Florian Ringel

OBJECT

Resection of a motor eloquent lesion has become safer because of intraoperative neurophysiological monitoring (IOM). Stimulation of subcortical motor evoked potentials (scMEPs) is increasingly used to optimize patient safety. So far, scMEP stimulation has been performed intermittently during resection of eloquently located lesions. Authors of the present study assessed the possibility of using a resection instrument for continuous stimulation of scMEPs.

METHODS

An ultrasonic surgical aspirator was attached to an IOM stimulator and was used as a monopolar subcortical stimulation probe. The effect of the aspirator’s use at different ultrasound power levels (0%, 25%, 50%, 75%, and 100%) on stimulation intensity was examined in a saline bath. Afterward monopolar stimulation with the surgical aspirator was used during the resection of subcortical lesions in the vicinity of the corticospinal tract in 14 patients in comparison with scMEP stimulation via a standard stimulation electrode. During resection, the stimulation current at which an MEP response was still measurable with subcortical stimulation using the surgical aspirator was compared with the corresponding stimulation current needed using a standard monopolar subcortical stimulation probe at the same location.

RESULTS

The use of ultrasound at different energy levels did result in a slight but irrelevant increase in stimulation energy via the tip of the surgical aspirator in the saline bath. Stimulation of scMEPs using the surgical aspirator or monopolar probe was successful and almost identical in all patients. One patient developed a new permanent neurological deficit. Transient new postoperative paresis was observed in 28% (4 of 14) of cases. Gross-total resection was achieved in 64% (9 of 14) cases and subtotal resection (> 80% of tumor mass) in 35% (5 of 14).

CONCLUSIONS

Continuous motor mapping using subcortical stimulation via a surgical aspirator, in comparison with the sequential use of a standard monopolar stimulation probe, is a feasible and safe method without any disadvantages. Compared with the standard probe, the aspirator offers continuous information on the distance to the corticospinal tract.

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Sebastian Ille, Nico Sollmann, Theresa Hauck, Stefanie Maurer, Noriko Tanigawa, Thomas Obermueller, Chiara Negwer, Doris Droese, Tobias Boeckh-Behrens, Bernhard Meyer, Florian Ringel, and Sandro M. Krieg

OBJECT

Language mapping by repetitive navigated transcranial magnetic stimulation (rTMS) is increasingly used and has already replaced functional MRI (fMRI) in some institutions for preoperative mapping of neurosurgical patients. Yet some factors affect the concordance of both methods with direct cortical stimulation (DCS), most likely by lesions affecting cortical oxygenation levels. Therefore, the impairment of the accuracy of rTMS and fMRI was analyzed and compared with DCS during awake surgery in patients with intraparenchymal lesions.

METHODS

Language mapping was performed by DCS, rTMS, and fMRI using an object-naming task in 27 patients with left-sided perisylvian lesions, and the induced language errors of each method were assigned to the cortical parcellation system. Subsequently, the receiver operating characteristics were calculated for rTMS and fMRI and compared with DCS as ground truth for regions with (w/) and without (w/o) the lesion in the mapped regions.

RESULTS

The w/ subgroup revealed a sensitivity of 100% (w/o 100%), a specificity of 8% (w/o 5%), a positive predictive value of 34% (w/o: 53%), and a negative predictive value (NPV) of 100% (w/o: 100%) for the comparison of rTMS versus DCS. Findings for the comparison of fMRI versus DCS within the w/ subgroup revealed a sensitivity of 32% (w/o: 62%), a specificity of 88% (w/o: 60%), a positive predictive value of 56% (w/o: 62%), and a NPV of 73% (w/o: 60%).

CONCLUSIONS

Although strengths and weaknesses exist for both rTMS and fMRI, the results show that rTMS is less affected by a brain lesion than fMRI, especially when performing mapping of language-negative cortical regions based on sensitivity and NPV.

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Sebastian Ille, Nico Sollmann, Theresa Hauck, Stefanie Maurer, Noriko Tanigawa, Thomas Obermueller, Chiara Negwer, Doris Droese, Claus Zimmer, Bernhard Meyer, Florian Ringel, and Sandro M. Krieg

OBJECT

Repetitive navigated transcranial magnetic stimulation (rTMS) is now increasingly used for preoperative language mapping in patients with lesions in language-related areas of the brain. Yet its correlation with intraoperative direct cortical stimulation (DCS) has to be improved. To increase rTMS's specificity and positive predictive value, the authors aim to provide thresholds for rTMS's positive language areas. Moreover, they propose a protocol for combining rTMS with functional MRI (fMRI) to combine the strength of both methods.

METHODS

The authors performed multimodal language mapping in 35 patients with left-sided perisylvian lesions by using rTMS, fMRI, and DCS. The rTMS mappings were conducted with a picture-to-trigger interval (PTI, time between stimulus presentation and stimulation onset) of either 0 or 300 msec. The error rates (ERs; that is, the number of errors per number of stimulations) were calculated for each region of the cortical parcellation system (CPS). Subsequently, the rTMS mappings were analyzed through different error rate thresholds (ERT; that is, the ER at which a CPS region was defined as language positive in terms of rTMS), and the 2-out-of-3 rule (a stimulation site was defined as language positive in terms of rTMS if at least 2 out of 3 stimulations caused an error). As a second step, the authors combined the results of fMRI and rTMS in a predefined protocol of combined noninvasive mapping. To validate this noninvasive protocol, they correlated its results to DCS during awake surgery.

RESULTS

The analysis by different rTMS ERTs obtained the highest correlation regarding sensitivity and a low rate of false positives for the ERTs of 15%, 20%, 25%, and the 2-out-of-3 rule. However, when comparing the combined fMRI and rTMS results with DCS, the authors observed an overall specificity of 83%, a positive predictive value of 51%, a sensitivity of 98%, and a negative predictive value of 95%.

CONCLUSIONS

In comparison with fMRI, rTMS is a more sensitive but less specific tool for preoperative language mapping than DCS. Moreover, rTMS is most reliable when using ERTs of 15%, 20%, 25%, or the 2-out-of-3 rule and a PTI of 0 msec. Furthermore, the combination of fMRI and rTMS leads to a higher correlation to DCS than both techniques alone, and the presented protocols for combined noninvasive language mapping might play a supportive role in the language-mapping assessment prior to the gold-standard intraoperative DCS.

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Jens Gempt, Julia Gerhardt, Vivien Toth, Stefanie Hüttinger, Yu-Mi Ryang, Maria Wostrack, Sandro M. Krieg, Bernhard Meyer, Annette Förschler, and Florian Ringel

Object

Brain metastases occur in 10% to 40% of patients harboring cancer. In cases of neurosurgical metastasis resection, all postoperative neurological deterioration should be avoided. Reasons for postoperative deficits can be direct tissue damage due to resection, hemorrhage, venous congestive infarcts, or arterial ischemic events leading to tissue infarction. The aim of this study was to evaluate whether postoperative ischemic infarctions occur in surgery for brain metastasis and to determine their influence on new postoperative neurological deficits.

Methods

Patients who underwent resection of brain metastases and had preoperative and early postoperative (within 48 hours) MRI scans, including diffusion-weighted imaging sequences and apparent diffusion coefficient maps, between January 2009 and May 2012 were included in this study. Clinical and histopathological data (histopathological results, pre- and postoperative neurological status, and previous tumor-specific therapy) were recorded.

Results

One hundred twenty-two patients (56 male, 66 female) who underwent resection of brain metastases were included. The patients' mean age was 60 years (range 21–89 years). The mean time span from initial tumor diagnosis to resection of brain metastasis was 44 months (range 0–338 months). The mean preoperative Karnofsky Performance Status was 80% (exact mean 76% ± 17% [SD]), and the mean postoperative value was 80% (exact mean 78% ± 17%). Twelve (9.8%) of the 122 patients had postoperative permanent worsening of a neurological deficit or a new permanent neurological deficit; 44 (36.1%) of the 122 patients had postoperative ischemic lesions. When comparing patients with and without previous brain irradiation, 53.8% of patients with previous brain irradiation had ischemic lesions on postoperative imaging compared with 31.3% of patients without previous brain irradiation (p = 0.033). There was a significant association between ischemia and postoperative neurological status deterioration (transient or permanent); 13 (29.5%) of 44 patients with ischemic lesions had deterioration of their neurological status compared with 7 (9%) of the 78 patients who did not have ischemic lesions (p = 0.003).

Conclusions

This study demonstrates a high prevalence of vascular incidents in patients undergoing resection for metastatic brain disease. Patients harboring postoperative ischemic lesions detected by MRI have a higher rate of neurological deficits (transient or permanent). Patients who had previous irradiation therapy are at higher risk of developing postoperative ischemic lesions. A large number of postoperative neurological deficits are caused by ischemic incidents.

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Jens Gempt, Sandro M. Krieg, Stefanie Hüttinger, Niels Buchmann, Yu-Mi Ryang, Ehab Shiban, Bernhard Meyer, Claus Zimmer, Annette Förschler, and Florian Ringel

Object

The aim of surgical glioma treatment is the complete resection of tumor tissue while preserving neurological function. Surgery-related neurological deficits arise from direct damage to the cortical or subcortical structures or from ischemia. The authors aimed to assess the incidence of resection-related ischemia of newly diagnosed or recurrent supratentorial gliomas and the sensitivity of intraoperative neuromonitoring (IOM) of motor evoked potentials (MEPs) for detecting such ischemic events and their influence on neurological motor function.

Methods

Between January 2009 and December 2010, 70 patients with tumors in motor-eloquent brain areas underwent intraoperative MEP monitoring during glioma resection and were examined by early postoperative MRI including diffusion-weighted imaging (DWI) and apparent diffusion coefficient (ADC) mapping. Postoperative areas of restricted diffusion were assessed by investigators blinded to the course of intraoperative MEPs and the neurological course.

Results

Among the 70 enrolled patients, a MEP amplitude decline below 50% of the baseline level was observed in 21 patients (30%). Sixteen of these patients (76%) had ischemic lesions identified on postoperative MRI scans. Forty-nine patients (70%) showed no decline in MEP amplitude, and only 16 (33%) of these patients harbored ischemic lesions. Moreover, 9 (69%) of 13 patients with a permanent loss of MEP amplitude showed postoperative ischemic lesions. Factors that promoted the occurrence of postoperative infarction were previous radiotherapy and location of the tumor close to the central arteries.

Conclusions

Alterations in the MEP amplitude during tumor resection and postoperative ischemic lesions are associated with postoperative impairment of motor function. Rather than cortical or subcortical structural damage of eloquent brain tissue alone, peri- or postoperative ischemic lesions play a crucial role in the development of surgery-related motor deficits.

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Sandro M. Krieg, Michael Schäffner, Ehab Shiban, Doris Droese, Thomas Obermüller, Jens Gempt, Bernhard Meyer, and Florian Ringel

Object

Resection of gliomas in or adjacent to the motor system is widely performed using intraoperative neuromonitoring (IOM). For resection of cerebral metastases in motor-eloquent regions, however, data are sparse and IOM in such cases is not yet widely described. Since recent studies have shown that cerebral metastases infiltrate surrounding brain tissue, this study was undertaken to assess the value and influence of IOM during resection of supratentorial metastases in motor-eloquent regions.

Methods

Between 2006 and 2011, the authors resected 206 consecutive supratentorial metastases, including 56 in eloquent motor areas with monitoring of monopolar direct cortically stimulated motor evoked potentials (MEPs). The authors evaluated the relationship between the monitoring data and the course of surgery, clinical data, and postoperative imaging.

Results

Motor evoked potential monitoring was successful in 53 cases (93%). Reduction of MEP amplitude correlated better with postoperative outcomes when the threshold for significant amplitude reduction was set at 80% (only > 80% reduction was considered significant decline) than when it was set at 50% (> 50% amplitude reduction was considered significant decline). Evidence of residual tumor was seen on MR images in 28% of the cases with significant MEP reduction. No residual tumor was seen in any case of stable MEP monitoring. Moreover, preoperative motor deficit, recursive partitioning analysis Class 3, and preoperative radiotherapy were independent risk factors for a new surgery-related motor weakness (occurring in 64% of patients with and 11% of patients without radiotherapy, p > 0.01).

Conclusions

Continuous MEP monitoring provides reliable monitoring of the motor system and also influences the course of operation in resection of cerebral metastases. However, in establishing warning criteria, only an amplitude decline > 80% of the baseline should be considered significant.

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Jens Gempt, Annette Förschler, Niels Buchmann, Haiko Pape, Yu-Mi Ryang, Sandro M. Krieg, Claus Zimmer, Bernhard Meyer, and Florian Ringel

Object

The aim of surgical treatment of glioma is the complete resection of tumor tissue with preservation of neurological function. Inclusion of diffusion-weighted imaging (DWI) in the postoperative MRI protocol could improve the delineation of ischemia-associated postoperative neurological deficits. The present study aims to assess the incidence of infarctions following resection of newly diagnosed gliomas in comparison with recurrent gliomas and the influence on neurological function.

Methods

Patients who underwent glioma resection for newly diagnosed or recurrent gliomas had early postoperative MRI, including DWI and apparent diffusion coefficient (ADC) maps. Postoperative areas of restricted diffusion were classified as arterial territorial infarctions, terminal branch infarctions, or venous infarctions. Tumor entity, location, and neurological function were recorded.

Results

New postoperative ischemic lesions were identified in 26 (31%) of 84 patients with newly diagnosed gliomas and 20 (80%) of 25 patients with recurrent gliomas (p < 0.01). New permanent and transient neurological deficits were more frequent in patients with recurrent gliomas than in patients with newly diagnosed tumors. Patients with neurological deficits had a significantly higher rate of ischemic lesions.

Conclusions

Postoperative infarctions occur frequently in patients with newly diagnosed and recurrent gliomas and do have an impact on postoperative neurological function. In this patient cohort there was a higher risk for ischemic lesions and for deterioration of neurological function after resection of recurrent tumors. Radiogenic and postoperative tissue changes could contribute to the higher risk of an ischemic infarction in patients with recurrent tumors.