Jeffrey G. Ojemann
Yukie Tamura, Hiroshi Ogawa, Christoph Kapeller, Robert Prueckl, Fumiya Takeuchi, Ryogo Anei, Anthony Ritaccio, Christoph Guger and Kyousuke Kamada
Electrocortical stimulation (ECS) is the gold standard for functional brain mapping; however, precise functional mapping is still difficult in patients with language deficits. High gamma activity (HGA) between 80 and 140 Hz on electrocorticography is assumed to reflect localized cortical processing, whereas the cortico-cortical evoked potential (CCEP) can reflect bidirectional responses evoked by monophasic pulse stimuli to the language cortices when there is no patient cooperation. The authors propose the use of “passive” mapping by combining HGA mapping and CCEP recording without active tasks during conscious resections of brain tumors.
Five patients, each with an intraaxial tumor in their dominant hemisphere, underwent conscious resection of their lesion with passive mapping. The authors performed functional localization for the receptive language area, using real-time HGA mapping, by listening passively to linguistic sounds. Furthermore, single electrical pulses were delivered to the identified receptive temporal language area to detect CCEPs in the frontal lobe. All mapping results were validated by ECS, and the sensitivity and specificity were evaluated.
Linguistic HGA mapping quickly identified the language area in the temporal lobe. Electrical stimulation by linguistic HGA mapping to the identified temporal receptive language area evoked CCEPs on the frontal lobe. The combination of linguistic HGA and frontal CCEPs needed no patient cooperation or effort. In this small case series, the sensitivity and specificity were 93.8% and 89%, respectively.
The described technique allows for simple and quick functional brain mapping with higher sensitivity and specificity than ECS mapping. The authors believe that this could improve the reliability of functional brain mapping and facilitate rational and objective operations. Passive mapping also sheds light on the underlying physiological mechanisms of language in the human brain.