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.
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.
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.
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.