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  • Author or Editor: Johannes Schramm x
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Georg Neuloh, Ulrich Pechstein and Johannes Schramm


Surgery for insular gliomas incurs a considerable risk of motor morbidity. In this study the authors explore the validity and utility of continuous motor tract monitoring to detect and reverse impending motor impairment during insular glioma resection.


Motor evoked potentials (MEPs) were successfully monitored during 73 operations to remove insular gliomas. Seventy-two cases were assessable, and one patient died during the early postoperative course. In this prospective observational approach, MEP monitoring results were correlated with intraoperative events and perioperative clinical data.

Intraoperative recordings of MEPs remained stable in 40 cases (56%), indicating unimpaired motor outcome and allowing safe completion of the hazardous steps of the procedure. Deterioration of MEPs occurred in 32 cases (44%). This deterioration was reversible after intervention in 21 cases (29%), and there was no new motor deficit except for transient paresis in nine of these cases (13%). Surgical measures could not prevent irreversible MEP deterioration in 11 cases (15%). Transient mild or moderate paresis occurred if complete MEP loss was avoided. Irreversible MEP loss in seven cases (10%) occurred after completion of resection in four of these seven cases, and was consistently an indicator of both a stroke within the deep motor pathways and permanent paresis, which remained severely disabling in three patients (4%). In contrast, permanently severe paresis occurred in two (18%) of 11 cases without useful MEP monitoring.


Continuous MEP monitoring is a valid indicator of motor pathway function during insular glioma surgery. This method indicates that remote ischemia, in this study the leading cause of impending motor deterioration, helps to avert definitive stroke of the motor pathways and permanent new paresis in the majority of cases. The rate of permanently severe new deficit appears to be greater in unmonitored cases.

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Josef Zentner, Andreas Hufnagel, Ulrich Pechstein, Helmut K. Wolf and Johannes Schramm

✓ In this article, the authors report their experience with surgically induced supplementary motor area (SMA) deficiency syndrome in a prospective clinical trial of 28 patients who underwent surgery for tumorous (19 patients) or nontumorous (nine patients) lesions. The dominant side was affected in 17 patients and the nondominant side in 11 patients. The primary presenting symptoms included seizure activity (23 patients), hemiparesis (four patients), and aphasia (one patient). Functional topographic mapping, achieved by phase reversal of somatosensory evoked potentials, allowed precise localization of the central sulcus in 25 of the 28 patients. Motor evoked potential (MEP) monitoring, which was performed successfully in 13 of 15 cases during the resective procedure, showed no significant changes in the potentials in any patient. Immediately after surgery, 25 (89%) of the 28 patients displayed additional neurological deficits (aphasia and/or hemiparesis) that depended on the extent of the SMA resection. In 12 patients the SMA was resected completely: nine of these patients demonstrated a complete and three an incomplete deficit. In 16 patients the SMA resection was incomplete: 13 of these patients displayed an incomplete deficit, whereas three had no deficit. Neurological disorders resolved completely within 3 to 42 days (mean 11 days), except for a minimal disturbance of fine motor and/or speech function in complex tasks or at high speed. Electromagnetically elicited MEPs, examined postoperatively in five patients, were initially absent but recovered with improvement of motor function. In conclusion, although the SMA is known to control important functions such as initiation of motor activity or speech, our findings show that unilateral SMA removal can be accomplished without resulting in significant permanent deficits. Functional topographic mapping and monitoring facilitate the exact delineation of the adequate resection plane along the precentral sulcus, and postoperative magnetic resonance imaging allows precise correlation of clinical and anatomical data.