The authors have applied high-definition fiber tracking (HDFT) to the resection of an intraparenchymal dermoid cyst by using a minimally invasive endoscopic port. The lesion was located within the mesial frontal lobe, septal area, hypothalamus, and suprasellar recess. Using high-dimensional (256 directions) diffusion imaging, more than 250,000 fiber tracts were imaged before and after surgery. Trajectory planning using HDFT in a computer model was used to facilitate cannulation of the cyst with the endoscopic port. Analysis of the proposed initial surgical route was overlaid onto the fiber tracts and was predicted to produce substantial disruption to prefrontal projection fibers (anterior limb of the internal capsule) and the cingulum. Adjustment of the cannulation entry point 1 cm medially was predicted to cross the corpus callosum instead of the anterior limb of the internal capsule or the cingulum. Following cyst resection performed using endoscopic port surgery, postoperative imaging demonstrated accurate cannulation of the lesion, with improved quantitative signal from both the anterior limb of the internal capsule and the cingulum. The observed fiber preservation from the cingulum and the anterior limb of the internal capsule, with minor injury to the corpus callosum, was in close agreement with preoperative trajectory modeling. Comparison of pre- and postoperative HDFT data facilitated quantification of the benefits and costs of the surgical trajectory. Future studies will help to determine whether HDFT combined with endoscopic port surgery facilitates anatomical and functional preservation in such challenging cases.
Juan C. Fernandez-Miranda, Johnathan A. Engh, Sudhir K. Pathak, Ricky Madhok, Fernando E. Boada, Walter Schneider and Amin B. Kassam
Samuel S. Shin, Timothy Verstynen, Sudhir Pathak, Kevin Jarbo, Allison J. Hricik, Megan Maserati, Sue R. Beers, Ava M. Puccio, Fernando E. Boada, David O. Okonkwo and Walter Schneider
For patients with traumatic brain injury (TBI), current clinical imaging methods generally do not provide highly detailed information about the location of axonal injury, severity of injury, or expected recovery. In a case of severe TBI, the authors applied a novel high-definition fiber tracking (HDFT) to directly visualize and quantify the degree of axonal fiber damage and predict functional deficits due to traumatic axonal injury and loss of cortical projections.
This 32-year-old man sustained a severe TBI. Computed tomography and MRI revealed an area of hemorrhage in the basal ganglia with mass effect, but no specific information on the location of axonal injury could be obtained from these studies. Examinations of the patient at Week 3 and Week 8 after TBI revealed motor weaknesses of the left extremities. Four months postinjury, 257-direction diffusion spectrum imaging and HDFT analysis was performed to evaluate the degree of axonal damage in the motor pathway and quantify asymmetries in the left and right axonal pathways. High-definition fiber tracking was used to follow corticospinal and corona radiata pathways from the cortical surface to the midbrain and quantify projections from motor areas. Axonal damage was then localized by assessing the number of descending fibers at the level of the cortex, internal capsule, and midbrain. The motor deficit apparent in the clinical examinations correlated with the axonal losses visualized using HDFT. Fiber loss estimates at 4 months postinjury accurately predicted the nature of the motor deficits (severe, focal left-hand weakness) when other standard clinical imaging modalities did not. A repeat scan at 10 months postinjury, when edema and hemorrhage had receded, replicated the fiber loss.
Using HDFT, the authors accurately identified the presence and location of damage to the underlying white matter in this patient with TBI. Detailed information of injury provided by this novel technique holds future potential for precise neuroimaging assessment of TBI.