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.
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.
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.
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.
Surgery of gliomas in eloquent areas: from brain hodotopy and plasticity to functional neurooncology
✓ 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.
Fadi Ghareeb and Hugues Duffau
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.
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.
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).
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.
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.
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.
Noor Hamdan and Hugues Duffau
Maximal safe resection is the first treatment in diffuse low-grade glioma (DLGG). Due to frequent tumor recurrence, a second surgery has already been reported, with favorable results. This study assesses the feasibility and functional and oncological outcomes of a third surgery in recurrent DLGG.
Patients with DLGG who underwent a third functional-based resection using awake mapping were consecutively selected. They were classified into group 1 in cases of slow tumor regrowth or group 2 if a radiological enhancement occurred during follow-up. All data regarding clinicoradiological features, histomolecular results, oncological treatment, and survival were collected.
Thirty-one patients were included, with a median age of 32 years. There were 20 astrocytomas and 11 oligodendrogliomas in these patients. Twenty-one patients had medical oncological treatment before the third surgery, consisting of chemotherapy in 19 cases and radiotherapy in 8 cases. No neurological deficit persisted after the third resection except mild missing words in 1 patient, with 84.6% of the patients returning to work. The median follow-up duration was 13.1 ± 3.4 years since diagnosis, and 3.1 ± 2.9 years since the third surgery. The survival rates at 7 and 10 years were 100% and 89.7%, respectively, with an estimated median overall survival of 17.8 years since diagnosis. A comparison between the groups showed that the Karnofsky Performance Scale score dropped below 80 earlier in group 2 (14.3 vs 17.1 years, p = 0.01). Median residual tumor volume at the third surgery was smaller (2.8 vs 14.4 cm3, p = 0.003) with a greater extent of resection (89% vs 70%, p = 0.003) in group 1.
This is the first consecutive series showing evidence that, in select patients with progressive DLGG, a third functional-based surgery can be achieved using awake mapping with low neurological risk and a high rate of total resection, especially when reoperation is performed before malignant transformation.