Prosopagnosia is a rare neurological condition characterized by the impairment of face perception with preserved visual processing and cognitive functioning and is associated with injury to the fusiform gyrus and inferior longitudinal fasciculus (ILF). Reports of this clinical impairment following resection of right temporal lobe diffuse gliomas in the absence of contralateral injury are exceedingly scarce and not expected as a complication of surgery.
The authors describe the case of a young female patient found to have an incidental diffuse glioma in the right inferior temporal lobe despite evidence of preoperative ILF disruption by the tumor. Following resection of the lesion, despite the preoperative disruption to the ILF by the tumor, the patient developed prosopagnosia. There was no evidence of contralateral, left-sided ILF injury.
Given the significant functional impairment associated with prosopagnosia, neurosurgeons should be aware of the exceedingly rare possibility of a visual-processing deficit following unilateral and, in this case, right-sided inferior temporal lobe glioma resections. More investigation is needed to determine whether preoperative testing can determine dominance of facial-processing networks for patients with lesions in the right inferior posterior temporooccipital lobe and whether intraoperative mapping could help prevent this complication.