Masashi Kinoshita, Harumichi Shinohara, Osamu Hori, Noriyuki Ozaki, Fumiaki Ueda, Mitsutoshi Nakada, Jun-ichiro Hamada and Yutaka Hayashi
Recently, intraoperative mapping has disclosed that, in addition to the classic language centers (that is, the Broca and Wernicke centers), other cortical regions may also play an important role in language organization. In the prefrontal cortex, although the lateral superior frontal gyrus (LSFG) could have language-related functions, there are no detailed reports that demonstrate the anatomical connection between the LSFG and other well-known language cortices, such as the Broca center. To show the existence of the structural connection, white matter association fibers between the inferior frontal gyrus (IFG) and the LSFG were examined using fiber dissection (FD) and diffusion tensor (DT) imaging–based tractography.
Eight cadaveric cerebral hemispheres were dissected to reveal the association fibers between the IFG and LSFG. The DT imaging–based tractography studies targeting the prefrontal cortex were obtained in 53 right-handed patients who had no organic cerebral lesions.
The association fiber tract between Brodmann area 44/45 (the Broca center in the dominant hemisphere) and LSFG were detected in all specimens by FD. In the DT imaging–based tractography studies, the tract was identified in all patients bilaterally, except for the 4 in whom the tract was detected only in the left hemisphere. This tract was spread significantly wider in the left than in the right hemisphere, and left lateralization was evident in male patients.
Based on its character, this tract was named the Broca-LSFG pathway. These findings suggest a close relationship between this pathway and language organization. The structural anatomy of the Broca-LSFG pathway may explain speech disturbances induced by LSFG stimulation that are sometimes observed during intraoperative language mapping.
Masashi Kinoshita, Riho Nakajima, Harumichi Shinohara, Katsuyoshi Miyashita, Shingo Tanaka, Hirokazu Okita, Mitsutoshi Nakada and Yutaka Hayashi
Although the right prefrontal region is regarded as a silent area, chronic deficits of the executive function, including working memory (WM), could occur after resection of a right prefrontal glioma. This may be overlooked by postoperative standard examinations, and the disabilities could affect the patient's professional life. The right prefrontal region is a part of the frontoparietal network and is subserved by the superior longitudinal fasciculus (SLF); however, the role of the SLF in spatial WM is unclear. This study investigated a persistent spatial WM deficit in patients who underwent right prefrontal glioma resection, and evaluated the relationship between the spatial WM deficit and the SLF.
Spatial WM was examined in 24 patients who underwent prefrontal glioma resection (right, n = 14; left, n = 10) and in 14 healthy volunteers using a spatial 2-back task during the long-term postoperative period. The neural correlates of spatial WM were evaluated using lesion mapping and voxel-based lesion-symptom mapping. In addition, the spatial 2-back task was performed during surgery under direct subcortical electrical stimulation in 2 patients with right prefrontal gliomas.
Patients with a right prefrontal lesion had a significant chronic spatial WM deficit. Voxel-based lesion-symptom mapping analysis revealed a significant correlation between spatial WM deficit and the region that overlapped the first and second segments of the SLF (SLF I and SLF II). Two patients underwent awake surgery and had difficulties providing the correct responses in the spatial 2-back task with direct subcortical electrical stimulation on the SLF I, which was preserved and confirmed by postoperative diffusion tensor imaging tractography. These patients exhibited no spatial WM deficits during the postoperative immediate and long-term periods.
Spatial WM deficits may persist in patients who undergo resection of the tumor located in the right prefrontal brain parenchyma. Injury to the dorsal frontoparietal subcortical white matter pathway, i.e., the SLF I or SLF I and II, could play a causal role in this chronic deficit. A persistent spatial WM deficit, without motor and language deficits, could affect the professional life of the patient. In such cases, awake surgery would be useful to detect the spatial WM network with appropriate task during tumor exploration.