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Andreas Raabe, Jürgen Beck, Philippe Schucht, and Kathleen Seidel

Object

The authors developed a new mapping technique to overcome the temporal and spatial limitations of classic subcortical mapping of the corticospinal tract (CST). The feasibility and safety of continuous (0.4–2 Hz) and dynamic (at the site of and synchronized with tissue resection) subcortical motor mapping was evaluated.

Methods

The authors prospectively studied 69 patients who underwent tumor surgery adjacent to the CST (< 1 cm using diffusion tensor imaging and fiber tracking) with simultaneous subcortical monopolar motor mapping (short train, interstimulus interval 4 msec, pulse duration 500 μsec) and a new acoustic motor evoked potential alarm. Continuous (temporal coverage) and dynamic (spatial coverage) mapping was technically realized by integrating the mapping probe at the tip of a new suction device, with the concept that this device will be in contact with the tissue where the resection is performed. Motor function was assessed 1 day after surgery, at discharge, and at 3 months.

Results

All procedures were technically successful. There was a 1:1 correlation of motor thresholds for stimulation sites simultaneously mapped with the new suction mapping device and the classic fingerstick probe (24 patients, 74 stimulation points; r2 = 0.98, p < 0.001). The lowest individual motor thresholds were as follows: > 20 mA, 7 patients; 11–20 mA, 13 patients; 6–10 mA, 8 patients; 4–5 mA, 17 patients; and 1–3 mA, 24 patients. At 3 months, 2 patients (3%) had a persistent postoperative motor deficit, both of which were caused by a vascular injury. No patient had a permanent motor deficit caused by a mechanical injury of the CST.

Conclusions

Continuous dynamic mapping was found to be a feasible and ergonomic technique for localizing the exact site of the CST and distance to the motor fibers. The acoustic feedback and the ability to stimulate the tissue continuously and exactly at the site of tissue removal improves the accuracy of mapping, especially at low (< 5 mA) stimulation intensities. This new technique may increase the safety of motor eloquent tumor surgery.

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Colette Boëx, Shahan Momjian, and Karl Schaller

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Kathleen Seidel, Jürgen Beck, Lennart Stieglitz, Philippe Schucht, and Andreas Raabe

Object

Mapping and monitoring are believed to provide an early warning sign to determine when to stop tumor removal to avoid mechanical damage to the corticospinal tract (CST). The objective of this study was to systematically compare subcortical monopolar stimulation thresholds (1–20 mA) with direct cortical stimulation (DCS)–motor evoked potential (MEP) monitoring signal abnormalities and to correlate both with new postoperative motor deficits. The authors sought to define a mapping threshold and DCS-MEP monitoring signal changes indicating a minimal safe distance from the CST.

Methods

A consecutive cohort of 100 patients underwent tumor surgery adjacent to the CST while simultaneous subcortical motor mapping and DCS-MEP monitoring was used. Evaluation was done regarding the lowest subcortical mapping threshold (monopolar stimulation, train of 5 stimuli, interstimulus interval 4.0 msec, pulse duration 500 μsec) and signal changes in DCS-MEPs (same parameters, 4 contact strip electrode). Motor function was assessed 1 day after surgery, at discharge, and at 3 months postoperatively.

Results

The lowest individual motor thresholds (MTs) were as follows (MT in mA, number of patients): > 20 mA, n = 12; 11–20 mA, n = 13; 6–10 mA, n = 20; 4–5 mA, n = 30; and 1–3 mA, n = 25. Direct cortical stimulation showed stable signals in 70 patients, unspecific changes in 18, irreversible alterations in 8, and irreversible loss in 4 patients. At 3 months, 5 patients had a postoperative new or worsened motor deficit (lowest mapping MT 20 mA, 13 mA, 6 mA, 3 mA, and 1 mA). In all 5 patients DCS-MEP monitoring alterations were documented (2 sudden irreversible threshold increases and 3 sudden irreversible MEP losses). Of these 5 patients, 2 had vascular ischemic lesions (MT 20 mA, 13 mA) and 3 had mechanical CST damage (MT 1 mA, 3 mA, and 6 mA; in the latter 2 cases the resection continued after mapping and severe DCS-MEP alterations occurred thereafter). In 80% of patients with a mapping MT of 1–3 mA and in 75% of patients with a mapping MT of 1 mA, DCS-MEPs were stable or showed unspecific reversible changes, and none had a permanent motor worsening at 3 months. In contrast, 25% of patients with irreversible DCS-MEP changes and 75% of patients with irreversible DCS-MEP loss had permanent motor deficits.

Conclusions

Mapping should primarily guide tumor resection adjacent to the CST. DCS-MEP is a useful predictor of deficits, but its value as a warning sign is limited because signal alterations were reversible in only approximately 60% of the present cases and irreversibility is a post hoc definition. The true safe mapping MT is lower than previously thought. The authors postulate a mapping MT of 1 mA or less where irreversible DCS-MEP changes and motor deficits regularly occur. Therefore, they recommend stopping tumor resection at an MT of 2 mA at the latest. The limited spatial and temporal coverage of contemporary mapping may increase error and may contribute to false, higher MTs.

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Jitendra Thakur, Christian T. Ulrich, Ralph T. Schär, Kathleen Seidel, Andreas Raabe, and C. Marvin Jesse

The authors present an illustrative technical note on microsurgical resection of ventrolateral completely ossified spinal meningiomas (OSMs) and a literature review of the surgical management of calcified spinal meningiomas or OSMs. These tumors are surgically demanding due to their solid consistency, especially when in a ventrolateral location with dislocation of the spinal cord. A challenging case with significant thoracic cord compression and displacement is described. Due to the firm consistency and the ventrolateral localization of the meningioma, a piecemeal resection was necessary. This could have resulted in a free-floating tumor remnant adherent to the spinal cord, impeding safe tumor resection. To avoid such a remnant, an anchoring burr hole was drilled at the border between the spinal cord and the adamantine tumor mass. Then, a microdissector was placed within the anchoring burr hole and the tumor was gently pulled laterally while drilling away the medial parts of the ossified tumor. This procedure was repeated until separation of the tumor from the spinal cord was possible and a gross-total resection (Simpson grade II) was manageable. Throughout the procedure, continuous intraoperative neurophysiological monitoring was performed.

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Philippe Schucht, Kathleen Seidel, Jürgen Beck, Michael Murek, Astrid Jilch, Roland Wiest, Christian Fung, and Andreas Raabe

Object

Resection of glioblastoma adjacent to motor cortex or subcortical motor pathways carries a high risk of both incomplete resection and postoperative motor deficits. Although the strategy of maximum safe resection is widely accepted, the rates of complete resection of enhancing tumor (CRET) and the exact causes for motor deficits (mechanical vs vascular) are not always known. The authors report the results of their concept of combining monopolar mapping and 5-aminolevulinic acid (5-ALA)–guided surgery in patients with glioblastoma adjacent to eloquent tissue.

Methods

The authors prospectively studied 72 consecutive patients who underwent 5-ALA–guided surgery for a glioblastoma adjacent to the corticospinal tract (CST; < 10 mm) with continuous dynamic monopolar motor mapping (short-train interstimulus interval 4.0 msec, pulse duration 500 μsec) coupled to an acoustic motor evoked potential (MEP) alarm. The extent of resection was determined based on early (< 48 hours) postoperative MRI findings. Motor function was assessed 1 day after surgery, at discharge, and at 3 months.

Results

Five patients were excluded because of nonadherence to protocol; thus, 67 patients were evaluated. The lowest motor threshold reached during individual surgery was as follows (motor threshold, number of patients): > 20 mA, n = 8; 11–20 mA, n = 13; 6–10 mA, n = 10; 4–5 mA, n = 13; and 1–3 mA, n = 23. Motor deterioration at postsurgical Day 1 and at discharge occurred in 30% (n = 20) and 10% (n = 7) of patients, respectively. At 3 months, 3 patients (4%) had a persisting postoperative motor deficit, 2 caused by vascular injury and 1 by mechanical injury. The rates of intra- and postoperative seizures were 1% and 0%, respectively. Complete resection of enhancing tumor was achieved in 73% of patients (49/67) despite proximity to the CST.

Conclusions

A rather high rate of CRET can be achieved in glioblastomas in motor eloquent areas via a combination of 5-ALA for tumor identification and intraoperative mapping for distinguishing between presumed and actual motor eloquent tissues. Continuous dynamic mapping was found to be a very ergonomic technique that localizes the motor tissue early and reliably.

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Tizian Rosenstock, Levin Häni, Ulrike Grittner, Nicolas Schlinkmann, Meltem Ivren, Heike Schneider, Andreas Raabe, Peter Vajkoczy, Kathleen Seidel, and Thomas Picht

OBJECTIVE

The authors sought to validate the navigated transcranial magnetic stimulation (nTMS)–based risk stratification model. The postoperative motor outcome in glioma surgery may be preoperatively predicted based on data derived by nTMS. The tumor-to-tract distance (TTD) and the interhemispheric resting motor threshold (RMT) ratio (as a surrogate parameter for cortical excitability) emerged as major factors related to a new postoperative deficit.

METHODS

In this bicentric study, a consecutive prospectively collected cohort underwent nTMS mapping with diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) fiber tracking of the corticospinal tract prior to surgery of motor eloquent gliomas. The authors analyzed whether the following items were associated with the patient’s outcome: patient characteristics, TTD, RMT value, and diffusivity parameters (fractional anisotropy [FA] and apparent diffusion coefficient [ADC]). The authors assessed the validity of the published risk stratification model and derived a new model.

RESULTS

A new postoperative motor deficit occurred in 36 of 165 patients (22%), of whom 20 patients still had a deficit after 3 months (13%; n3 months = 152). nTMS-verified infiltration of the motor cortex as well as a TTD ≤ 8 mm were confirmed as risk factors. No new postoperative motor deficit occurred in patients with TTD > 8 mm. In contrast to the previous risk stratification, the RMT ratio was not substantially correlated with the motor outcome, but high RMT values of both the tumorous and healthy hemisphere were associated with worse motor outcome. The FA value was negatively associated with worsening of motor outcome. Accuracy analysis of the final model showed a high negative predictive value (NPV), so the preoperative application may accurately predict the preservation of motor function in particular (day of discharge: sensitivity 47.2%, specificity 90.7%, positive predictive value [PPV] 58.6%, NPV 86.0%; 3 months: sensitivity 85.0%, specificity 78.8%, PPV 37.8%, NPV 97.2%).

CONCLUSIONS

This bicentric validation analysis further improved the model by adding the FA value of the corticospinal tract, demonstrating the relevance of nTMS/nTMS-based DTI fiber tracking for clinical decision making.

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Philippe Schucht, Kathleen Seidel, Michael Murek, Lennart Henning Stieglitz, Natalie Urwyler, Roland Wiest, Maja Steinlin, Kurt Leibundgut, Andreas Raabe, and Jürgen Beck

Object

Resection of lesions close to the primary motor cortex (M1) and the corticospinal tract (CST) is generally regarded as high-risk surgery due to reported rates of postoperative severe deficits of up to 50%. The authors' objective was to determine the feasibility and safety of low-threshold motor mapping and its efficacy for increasing the extent of lesion resection in the proximity of M1 and the CST in children and adolescents.

Methods

The authors analyzed 8 consecutive pediatric patients in whom they performed 9 resections for lesions within or close (≤ 10 mm) to M1 and/or the CST. Monopolar high-frequency motor mapping with train-of-five stimuli (pulse duration 500 μsec, interstimulus interval 4.0 msec, frequency 250 Hz) was used. The motor threshold was defined as the minimal stimulation intensity that elicited motor evoked potentials (MEPs) from target muscles (amplitude > 30 μV). Resection was performed toward M1 and the CST at sites negative to 1- to 3-mA high-frequency train-of-five stimulation.

Results

The M1 was identified through high-frequency train-of-five via application of varying low intensities. The lowest motor thresholds after final resection ranged from 1 to 9 mA in 8 cases and up to 18 mA in 1 case, indicating proximity to motor neurons. Intraoperative electroencephalography documented an absence of seizures during all surgeries. Two transient neurological deficits were observed, but there were no permanent deficits. Postoperative imaging revealed complete resection in 8 patients and a very small remnant (< 0.175 cm3) in 1 patient.

Conclusions

High-frequency train-of-five with a minimal threshold of 1–3 mA is a feasible and safe procedure for resections in the proximity of the CST. Thus, low-threshold motor mapping might help to expand the area for safe resection in pediatric patients with lesions located within the precentral gyrus and close to the CST, and may be regarded as a functional navigational tool. The additional use of continuous MEP monitoring serves as a safety feedback for the functional integrity of the CST, especially because the true excitability threshold in children is unknown.