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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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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.