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Aurore Sellier, Sylvie Moritz-Gasser, Anne-Laure Lemaitre, Guillaume Herbet, and Hugues Duffau

OBJECTIVE

Intraoperative brain mapping with neurocognitive monitoring during awake surgery is currently the standard pattern of care for patients with diffuse low-grade glioma (DLGG), allowing a maximization of the extent of resection (EOR) while preserving quality of life. This study evaluated the feasibility of DLGG resections performed with intraoperative cognitive monitoring via the assistance of a translator for patients speaking foreign languages, and compared the surgical functional and oncological outcomes according to the possibility of direct communication with the surgical team.

METHODS

Foreign patients who underwent awake surgery with intraoperative electrical mapping with the assistance of a translator for the resection of a DLGG in the authors’ institution between January 2010 and December 2020 were included. Patients whose native language included one of the three languages spoken by the surgical team (i.e., French, English, or Spanish) were excluded. The patients were classified into two groups. Group 1 was composed of patients able to communicate in at least one of these three languages in addition to their own native language. Group 2 was composed of patients who spoke none of these languages, and therefore were unable to communicate directly with the operating staff. The primary outcome was the patients’ ability to return to work 3 months after surgery.

RESULTS

Eighty-four patients were included, of whom 63 were classified in group 1 and 21 in group 2. Eighteen different native languages were tested in the operating theater. Awake mapping was successful, with elicitation of transitory disturbances in all patients. There was no significant difference in the 3-month return-to-work status between the two groups (95% in group 1 [n = 58/61] vs 88% in group 2 [n = 15/17]; p = 0.298). Similarly, no significant difference between the two groups was found regarding the intraoperative tasks performed, the mean duration of the surgery, and the rate of permanent postoperative deficit. A significantly greater EOR was observed in group 1 patients in comparison to group 2 patients (90.4% ± 10.6% vs 87.7% ± 6.1%; p = 0.029).

CONCLUSIONS

Real-time translation by an interpreter during awake resection of glioma is feasible and safe in foreign patients. Nonetheless, when no direct verbal communication is possible between the surgical team and the patient, the EOR is less.

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Sam Ng, Guillaume Herbet, Anne-Laure Lemaitre, Jérôme Cochereau, Sylvie Moritz-Gasser, and Hugues Duffau

OBJECTIVE

Early surgery in presumed asymptomatic patients with incidental low-grade glioma (ILGG) has been suggested to improve maximal resection rates and overall survival. However, no study has reported on the impact of such preventive treatment on cognitive functioning. The aim of this study was to investigate neuropsychological outcomes in patients with ILGG who underwent preventive surgery.

METHODS

This was a retrospective analysis of a consecutive series of patients with ILGG who underwent awake surgery and who had presurgical and 3-month postsurgical neuropsychological assessments. Data were normalized into z-scores and regrouped by cognitive domains. Clinicoradiological data, histomolecular profile, and differences in z-scores (Δz-scores) were analyzed.

RESULTS

Forty-seven patients were included (mean age 39.2 ± 11.3 years). Twenty-eight patients (59.6%) underwent supratotal or total resections. All patients were still alive after a mean follow-up of 33.0 ± 30.8 months. Forty-one patients (87.2%) had stable (n = 34, 72.3%) or improved (Δz-score > 1; n = 7, 14.9%) neurocognitive outcomes after surgery. Six patients (12.8%) presented a slight impairment (Δz-score < −1) in at least one cognitive domain. The mean presurgical and postsurgical z-scores were comparable except in the psychomotor speed and attention domain. A significant correlation between presurgical executive functioning and tumor volume was reported, whereas the extent of resection and histomolecular profile did not impact neuropsychological outcomes.

CONCLUSIONS

Early surgical treatment in presumed asymptomatic patients with ILGG was associated with stable or improved neuropsychological outcomes in 87.2% of patients at 3 months, with only mild cognitive decline observed in 6 patients. In return, supratotal or total resections were achieved in most patients, and all patients were still alive at the end of the follow-up.