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Silvain Bériault, Abbas F. Sadikot, Fahd Alsubaie, Simon Drouin, D. Louis Collins and G. Bruce Pike

Careful trajectory planning on preoperative vascular imaging is an essential step in deep brain stimulation (DBS) to minimize risks of hemorrhagic complications and postoperative neurological deficits. This paper compares 2 MRI methods for visualizing cerebral vasculature and planning DBS probe trajectories: a single data set T1-weighted scan with double-dose gadolinium contrast (T1w-Gd) and a multi–data set protocol consisting of a T1-weighted structural, susceptibility-weighted venography, and time-of-flight angiography (T1w-SWI-TOF). Two neurosurgeons who specialize in neuromodulation surgery planned bilateral STN DBS in 18 patients with Parkinson's disease (36 hemispheres) using each protocol separately. Planned trajectories were then evaluated across all vascular data sets (T1w-Gd, SWI, and TOF) to detect possible intersection with blood vessels along the entire path via an objective vesselness measure. The authors' results show that trajectories planned on T1w-SWI-TOF successfully avoided the cerebral vasculature imaged by conventional T1w-Gd and did not suffer from missing vascular information or imprecise data set registration. Furthermore, with appropriate planning and visualization software, trajectory corridors planned on T1w-SWI-TOF intersected significantly less fine vasculature that was not detected on the T1w-Gd (p < 0.01 within 2 mm and p < 0.001 within 4 mm of the track centerline). The proposed T1w-SWI-TOF protocol comes with minimal effects on the imaging and surgical workflow, improves vessel avoidance, and provides a safe cost-effective alternative to injection of gadolinium contrast.

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Jeffrey D. Atkinson, D. Louis Collins, Gilles Bertrand, Terry M. Peters, G. Bruce Pike and Abbas F. Sadikot

Object. Renewed interest in stereotactic neurosurgery for movement disorders has led to numerous reports of clinical outcomes associated with different treatment strategies. Nevertheless, there is a paucity of autopsy and imaging data that can be used to describe the optimal size and location of lesions or the location of implantable stimulators. In this study the authors correlated the clinical efficacy of stereotactic thalamotomy for tremor with precise anatomical localization by using postoperative magnetic resonance (MR) imaging and an integrated deformable digital atlas of subcortical structures.

Methods. Thirty-one lesions were created by stereotactic thalamotomy in 25 patients with tremor-dominant Parkinson disease. Lesion volume and configuration were evaluated by reviewing early postoperative MR images and were correlated with excellent, good, or fair tremor outcome categories. To allow valid comparisons of configurations of lesions with respect to cytoarchitectonic thalamic boundaries, the MR image obtained in each patient was nonlinearly deformed into a standardized MR imaging space, which included an integrated atlas of the basal ganglia and thalamus. The volume and precise location of lesions associated with different clinical outcomes were compared using nonparametric statistical methods. Probabilistic maps of lesions in each tremor outcome category were generated and compared.

Statistically significant differences in lesion location between excellent and good, and excellent and fair outcome categories were demonstrated. On average, lesions associated with excellent outcomes involved thalamic areas located more posteriorly than sites affected by lesions in the other two outcome groups. Subtraction analysis revealed that lesions correlated with excellent outcomes necessarily involved the interface of the nucleus ventralis intermedius (Vim; also known as the ventral lateral posterior nucleus [VLp]) and the nucleus ventrocaudalis (Vc; also known as the ventral posterior [VP] nucleus). Differences in lesion volume among outcome groups did not achieve statistical significance.

Conclusions. Anatomical evaluation of lesions within a standardized MR image—atlas integrated reference space is a useful method for determining optimal lesion localization. The results of an analysis of probabilistic maps indicates that optimal relief of tremor is associated with lesions involving the Vim (VLp) and the anterior Vc (VP).

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Céline Amiez, Penelope Kostopoulos, Anne-Sophie Champod, D. Louis Collins, Julien Doyon, Rolando Del Maestro and Michael Petrides

Object

Resection of brain tumors has been shown to increase patient survival. The extent of the possible resection, however, depends on whether the tumor has invaded brain regions important for motor, sensory, or cognitive processes and whether the brain tissue surrounding the tumor maintains its functional role. The goal of the present study was to develop new pre- and intraoperative tools to specifically assess the function of the rostral part of the dorsal premotor cortex (PMdr) in 4 patients with brain tumors close to this region.

Methods

Using functional magnetic resonance (fMR) imaging and a task developed to assess accurate selection between competing responses based on conditional rules, the authors preoperatively assessed the function of the PMdr in 4 patients with brain tumors close to this region. In 1 patient, the authors developed an intraoperative procedure to assess performance on the task during the tumor resection.

Results

Preoperative fMR imaging data showed specific activity increases in the vicinity of the tumors, that is, in the PMdr. As confirmed by postoperative structural MR imaging, the extent of the tumor resection was optimal and the functional region within the PMdr was preserved. Furthermore, patients exhibited no postoperative deficits during task performance, demonstrating that the function was preserved. Intraoperative behavioral results demonstrated that the cognitive processes underlying performance on the task remained intact throughout the tumor resection.

Conclusions

These findings suggest that preoperative fMR imaging, together with intraoperative behavioral evaluation, may be a useful paradigm to assist neurosurgeons in preserving cognitive function in patients with brain tumors.