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Hugues Duffau

Object

Few experiences of insular surgery have been reported. Moreover, there are no large surgical studies with long-term follow-up specifically dedicated to WHO Grade II gliomas involving the insula. In this paper, the author describes a personal consecutive series of 51 cases in which patients underwent surgery for an insular Grade II glioma. On the basis of the functional and oncological results, advances and limitations of this challenging surgery are discussed.

Methods

Fifty-one patients harboring an insular Grade II glioma (revealed by seizures in 50 cases) underwent surgery. Findings on preoperative neurological examination were normal in 45 patients (88%). All surgeries were conducted under cortico-subcortical stimulation, and in the case of 16 patients while awake.

Results

Despite an immediate postoperative worsening in 30 cases (59%), the condition of all but 2 patients (96%) returned to baseline or better. Postoperative MR imaging demonstrated that 77% of resections were total or subtotal. Ten patients underwent a second or third surgery, with no additional deficit. Forty-two patients (82%) are alive with a median follow-up of 4 years.

Conclusions

This is the largest reported experience with insular Grade II glioma surgery. The better knowledge of the insular pathophysiology and the use of intraoperative functional mapping allow the risk of permanent deficit to be minimized (and even enable improvement in quality of life) while increasing the extent of resection and thus the impact on the course of the disease. Therefore, surgical removal must always be considered for insular Grade II glioma. However, this surgery remains challenging, especially within the anterior perforating substance and the posterior part of the (dominant) insula. Additional surgery can be suggested in cases in which the first resection is not complete.

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Hugues Duffau

✓ The goal in this study was to determine if intraoperative electrical stimulation mapping is useful during surgical resection of lesions located in the central region, even in cases of preoperative hemiplegia. This 45-year-old man with a retrocentral metastasis from an embryonal carcinoma of the testis suffered an acute complete hemiplegia after intratumoral bleeding. Emergency surgery was performed with the aid of intraoperative motor mapping despite the preoperative deficit. Cortical stimulations (CSs) elicited motor responses, allowing the detection and hence preservation of the primary motor area during tumor removal. Postoperatively, the patient recovered almost completely within 1 week; the tumor resection was total.

It is possible that CSs give an early and valuable prognostic indicator of motor recovery in cases of complete hemiplegia, at least in patients with acute onset and short duration of the deficit. Consequently, if motor responses can be elicited by CSs, it becomes mandatory for the surgeon to respect the primary motor area despite the preoperative hemiplegia, with the aim of preserving the chances of an eventual recovery.

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Introduction

Surgery of gliomas in eloquent areas: from brain hodotopy and plasticity to functional neurooncology

Hugues Duffau

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Thiébaud Picart and Hugues Duffau

A 30-year-old right-handed female medical doctor experienced generalized seizures. MRI showed a left operculo-insular low-grade glioma. Awake resection was proposed. During the cortical mapping, counting and naming task combined with right upper limb movement enabled the identification of the ventral premotor cortex and negative motors areas. The so-called Broca’s area was not eloquent. Subpial dissection was performed by avoiding coagulation until the inferior fronto-occipital fasciculus and the junction between the output projection fibers and the anterior part of the superior longitudinal fasciculus III were reached. The patient resumed a normal familial and socio-professional life despite the resection of Broca’s area.

The video can be found here: https://youtu.be/OALk0tvctQw.

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Hugues Duffau and Laurent Capelle

✓ Cortical control of micturition and continence remains poorly understood. The authors report two cases of patients who presented with prolonged urinary disturbances after resection of a brain glioma. Accurate anatomofunctional correlations determined using postoperative magnetic resonance imaging support the following: 1) the implication of the posterior portion of the right anterior cingulate gyrus in the perception of bladder sensation and maintenance of continence; 2) the involvement of the right anterior insula in bladder relaxation; and 3) the role of the right inferior frontal cortex in the decision concerning whether to initiate a micturition. On the basis of these results, a preliminary model of a cortical network associated with micturition and continence is proposed.

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Fadi Ghareeb and Hugues Duffau

Object

Beyond its oncological benefit, surgery could improve seizure control in paralimbic frontotemporoinsular or temporoinsular WHO Grade II gliomas generating intractable seizures. However, no studies have examined the impact of hippocampal resection on chronic epilepsy when the hippocampus is not invaded by Grade II gliomas. Here, the authors compared the epileptological outcomes and return to work in 2 groups of patients who underwent surgery with or without hippocampectomy for paralimbic Grade II gliomas eliciting intractable epilepsy despite no tumoral involvement of the hippocampus.

Methods

Surgery was performed in 15 consecutive patients who were unable to work (median Karnofsky Performance Scale [KPS] Score 70) because of refractory epilepsy due to paralimbic Grade II gliomas that were not invading the hippocampus. In Group A (8 patients), the hippocampus was preserved. In Group B (7 patients), glioma removal was associated with hippocampectomy.

Results

No patient died or suffered a permanent deficit after surgery. Postoperatively, in Group A, no patients were seizure free (4 patients were in Engel Class II and 4 were in Class III). In Group B, all 7 patients were seizure free (Class I) (p = 0.02). Only 62.5% of patients returned to work in Group A, whereas all patients are working full time in Group B. The postsurgical median KPS score was 85 in Group A, that is, not significantly improved in comparison with the preoperative score, while the postsurgical median KPS was 95 in Group B, that is, significantly improved in comparison with the preoperative score (p = 0.03).

Conclusions

The authors' data support, for the first time, the significant impact of hippocampectomy in patients with intractable epilepsy generated by a paralimbic Grade II glioma, even if it does not invade the hippocampus. Hippocampal resection allowed seizure control in all patients, with an improvement in KPS scores, since all patients resumed their social and professional activities. Thus, the authors suggest performing a resection of the nontumoral hippocampus in addition to resection of the tumor in patients with refractory epilepsy due to paralimbic Grade II gliomas.

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Yordanka N. Yordanova, Sylvie Moritz-Gasser and Hugues Duffau

Object

It has been demonstrated that an extensive resection (total or subtotal) may significantly increase the overall survival in patients with WHO Grade II gliomas (low-grade gliomas [LGGs]). Yet, recent data have shown that conventional MR imaging underestimates the spatial extent of LGG, since tumor cells were found up to 20 mm around MR imaging abnormalities. Thus, it was hypothesized that an extended resection with a margin beyond MR imaging–defined abnormalities—a “supratotal” resection—might improve the outcome of LGG. However, because of the frequent location of LGG within “eloquent” brain areas, it is often difficult to achieve such a supratotal resection. This could nevertheless be possible when LGGs involve “noneloquent” areas, even in the left dominant hemisphere. The authors report on their use of awake electrical mapping to tailor the resection according to functional boundaries, that is, to pursue the resection beyond MR imaging–defined abnormalities, until corticosubcortical eloquent structures are encountered. Their aim was to apply this reliable surgical technique to LGGs located not within eloquent areas but distant from eloquent areas, to take a margin around the LGG visible on MR imaging while preserving brain function.

Methods

Fifteen right-handed patients with a total of 17 tumors underwent resection of WHO Grade II gliomas involving nonfunctional areas within the left dominant hemisphere. In all patients, seizures were the initial manifestation of the tumors. Awake surgery with intraoperative electrostimulation was performed in all cases. The resection was continued until the surgeon reached cortical and subcortical areas crucial for brain function, especially language, as defined by the intrasurgical electrical mapping. The extent of resection was evaluated on postoperative FLAIR-weighted MR images.

Results

Despite transient neurological worsening in 60% of cases, all patients recovered and returned to a normal life. Seizure control was obtained in all patients with a decrease of antiepileptic drug therapy. Postoperative MR imaging showed that total resection was achieved in all 17 tumors and supratotal resection in 15. The average volume of the postoperative cavity (36.8 cm3) was significantly larger than the mean preoperative tumor volume (26.6 cm3) (p = 0.009). Neuropathological examination confirmed the diagnosis of WHO Grade II glioma in all cases. The mean duration of postoperative follow-up was 35.7 months (range 6–135 months). Only 4 of 15 patients experienced recurrence (without anaplastic transformation); the average time to recurrence in these cases was 38 months; radiotherapy was performed 6 years after the relapse in 1 case; no other patients received any adjuvant treatment. This series was compared with a control group of 29 patients who had “only” complete resection: anaplastic transformation was observed in 7 cases in the control group but not in any case in the series of patients who underwent supracomplete resection (p = 0.037). Furthermore, adjuvant treatment was administered in 10 patients in the control group compared with 1 patient who underwent supracomplete resection (p = 0.043).

Conclusions

These findings support the usefulness of awake surgery with intraoperative functional (language) mapping with the attempt to perform supratotal resection of LGGs involving noneloquent areas in the left hemisphere. Indeed, the extent of resection was significantly increased in all cases but 2, with no additional permanent deficit and with control of seizures in all patients. The goal of supracomplete resection is currently to delay the anaplastic transformation, even if it does not (yet) enable a cure.

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Hugues Duffau, Dominique Denvil and Laurent Capelle

Object. Despite the high frequency of striatal lesions, the rate of movement disorders reported in the literature is lower than expected (< 10%). To maximize the extent of resection in low-grade gliomas invading the right striatum, the authors performed a striatal resection in a series of 14 patients, observed the lack of movement disorders following these procedures, and discuss herein the mechanisms likely to explain these findings.

Methods. Fourteen patients harboring a low-grade glioma that was infiltrating the right nondominant striatum, and in whom the results of neurological examination were normal, underwent surgery in which intraoperative electrical mapping was used, allowing the identification of pyramidal pathways. The striatum was resected in all procedures, and corticospinal tracts were systematically detected and preserved. Ten patients presented with a transient postoperative motor deficit, and nine with a loss of interest and affect. These symptoms all resolved within 3 months, except for one case of persistent hemiparesis. No postoperative movement disorder was noted, even transitorily. All resections were categorized as either total or subtotal on control magnetic resonance images.

Conclusions. These findings show that the nondominant striatum can be removed in cases of glioma invasion without inducing even transitory movement disorders. This phenomenon could be explained by the combined resection of the two classes of striatal neurons, an associated pallidal and thalamocortical resection, or a compensatory recruitment of parallel networks. Thus, these results may allow the surgeon to maximize the extent of removal of low-grade gliomas involving basal ganglia. Striatal resection may induce transient hemiparesis and “athymhormic syndrome,” however, necessitating that the patient be clearly informed before surgery.

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Sylvie Moritz-Gasser and Hugues Duffau

This 47-year-old, right-handed bilingual (French and English) man underwent awake surgery for a glioma in the left dominant posterior temporal lobe. During intraoperative picture naming, direct electrostimulation of a discrete cortical area within the posterior part of the superior temporal sulcus elicited an involuntary language switching (French to English). Moreover, during tumor resection, subcortical electrical mapping again generated reproducible language switching (French to English) when stimulating the superior longitudinal fasciculus. After transient immediately postoperative worsening, the patient recovered normal language performance. Both 7 days and 2 months later, however, another language switching episode (French to English) was observed during a naming task. Thus, both intraoperative mapping and transient postsurgical disturbances support involvement of the left dominant posterior temporal area and the superior longitudinal fasciculus in language switching. Interestingly, this pathway is known to connect the posterosuperior temporal gyrus to the Broca center, a region the authors have described as inducing possible switching on stimulation. Therefore, the authors suggest the existence of a large-scale distributed network subserving language switching. Such knowledge may have important clinical implications for the surgical care of a bilingual patient harboring a lesion in the left hemisphere.