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Addison Quinones, Mehrnaz Jenabi, Luca Pasquini, Kyung K. Peck, Nelson S. Moss, Cameron Brennan, Viviane Tabar, and Andrei Holodny

OBJECTIVE

The ability of functional MRI (fMRI) to localize patient-specific eloquent areas has proved worthwhile in efforts to maximize resection while minimizing risk of iatrogenic damage in patients with brain tumors. Although cortical reorganization has been described, the frequency of its occurrence and the factors that influence incidence are not well understood. The authors investigated changes in language laterality between 2 fMRI studies in patients with brain tumors to elucidate factors contributing to cortical reorganization.

METHODS

The authors analyzed 33 patients with brain tumors involving eloquent language areas who underwent 2 separate presurgical, language task–based fMRI examinations (fMRI1 and fMRI2). Pathology consisted of low-grade glioma (LGG) in 15, and high-grade glioma (HGG) in 18. The mean time interval between scans was 35 ± 38 months (mean ± SD). Regions of interest were drawn for Broca’s area (BA) and the contralateral BA homolog. The laterality index (LI) was calculated and categorized as follows: > 0.2, left dominance; 0.2 to –0.2, codominance; and < −0.2, right dominance. Translocation of language function was defined as a shift across one of these thresholds between the 2 scans. Comparisons between the 2 groups, translocation of language function (reorganized group) versus no translocation (constant group), were performed using the Mann-Whitney U-test.

RESULTS

Nine (27%) of 33 patients demonstrated translocation of language function. Eight of 9 patients with translocation had tumor involvement of BA, compared to 5/24 patients without translocation (p < 0.0001). There was no difference in LI between the 2 groups at fMRI1. However, the reorganized group showed a decreased LI at fMRI2 compared to the constant group (−0.1 vs 0.53, p < 0.01). The reorganized cohort showed a significant difference between LI1 and LI2 (0.50 vs –0.1, p < 0.0001) whereas the constant cohort did not. A longer time interval was found in the reorganized group between fMRI1 and fMRI2 for patients with LGG (34 vs 107 months, p < 0.002). Additionally, the reorganized cohort had a greater proportion of local tumor invasion into eloquent areas at fMRI2 than the constant group. Aphasia was present following fMRI2 in 13/24 (54%) patients who did not exhibit translocation, compared to 2/9 (22%) patients who showed translocation.

CONCLUSIONS

Translocation of language function in patients with brain tumor is associated with tumor involvement of BA, longer time intervals between scans, and is seen in both LGG and HGG. The reduced incidence of aphasia in the reorganized group raises the possibility that reorganization supports the conservation of language function. Therefore, longitudinal fMRI is useful because it may point to reorganization and could affect therapeutic planning for patients.

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Theodore C. Hannah, Roshini Kalagara, Muhammad Ali, Alexander J. Schupper, Adam Y. Li, Zachary Spiera, Naoum Fares Marayati, Addison Quinones, Zerubabbel K. Asfaw, Vikram Vasan, Eugene I. Hrabarchuk, Lily McCarthy, Alex Gometz, Mark Lovell, and Tanvir Choudhri

OBJECTIVE

Concussion incidence is known to be highest in children and adolescents; however, there is conflicting evidence about the effect of age on concussion risk and recovery within the adolescent age range. The heterogeneity of results may be partially due to the use of age groupings based on convenience, making comparisons across studies difficult. This study evaluated the independent effect of age on concussion incidence, severity, and recovery in student-athletes aged 12–18 years using cluster analysis to define groupings.

METHODS

Immediate Post-Concussion Assessment and Cognitive Testing (ImPACT) scores of 11,403 baseline tests and 4922 postinjury tests were used to calculate the incidence rates for adolescent student-athletes grouped into 3 age bands (12–13, 14–15, and 16–18 years of age) on the basis of clustering analysis. The recently created Severity Index was used to compare concussion severity between groups. Follow-up tests for subjects who sustained a concussion were used to evaluate recovery time. The chi-square test and 1-way ANOVA were used to compare differences in demographic characteristics and concussion incidence, severity, and recovery. Multivariable logistic and linear regressions were used to evaluate the independent effects of age on concussion incidence and severity, respectively. Multivariable Cox hazard regression was used to evaluate differences in recovery time. Further analyses were conducted to directly compare findings across studies on the basis of the age groupings used in prior studies.

RESULTS

Multivariable regression analyses demonstrated that the 14- to 15-year-old age group had a significantly higher concussion incidence than both the 12- to 13-year-old (14- to 15-year-old group vs 12- to 13-year-old group, OR 1.57, 95% CI 1.16–2.17, p = 0.005) and 16- to 18-year-old (16- to 18-year-old group vs 14- to 15-year-old group, OR 0.79, 95% CI 0.69–0.91, p = 0.0008) age groups. There was no difference in incidence between the 12- to 13-year-old and 16- to 18-year-old groups (16- to 18-year group vs 12- to 13-year group, OR 1.26, 95% CI 0.93–1.72, p = 0.15). There were also no differences in concussion severity or recovery between any groups.

CONCLUSIONS

This study found that concussion incidence was higher during mid-adolescence than early and late adolescence, suggesting a U-shaped relationship between age and concussion risk over the course of adolescence. Age had no independent effect on concussion severity or recovery in the 12- to 13-, 14- to 15-, and 16- to 18-year-old groups. Further analysis of the various age groups revealed that results may vary significantly with minor changes to groupings, which may explain the divergent results in the current literature on this topic. Thus, caution should be taken when interpreting the results of this and all similar studies, especially when groupings are based on convenience.