The authors conducted a study to evaluate the clinical outcome in 50 patients with lesions around the motor cortex who underwent surgery in which functional neuronavigation was performed.
The sensorimotor cortex was identified in all patients with the use of magnetoencephalography (MEG). The MEG-source localizations were superimposed onto a three-dimensional magnetic resonance image, and the image data set was then implemented into a neuronavigation system. Based on this setup, the surgeon chose the best surgical strategy. During surgery, the pre- and postcentral gyrus were identified by neuronavigation, and in addition, the central sulcus was localized using intraoperative recording of somatosensory evoked potentials. In all cases MEG localizations of the sensory or motor cortex were correct. In 30% of the patients preoperative paresis improved, in 66% no additional deficits occurred, and in only 4% (two patients) deterioration of neurological function occurred. In one of these patients the deterioration was not related to the method.
The method of incorporating functional data into neuronavigation systems is a promising tool that can be used in more radical surgery to cause less morbidity around eloquent brain areas.