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Lindsey Nelson, Samir Lapsiwala, Victor M. Haughton, Jane Noyes, Amir H. Sadrzadeh, Chad H. Moritz, M. Elizabeth Meyerand, and Behnam Badie

Object. Injury to the supplementary motor area (SMA) is thought to be responsible for transient motor and speech deficits following resection of tumors involving the medial frontal lobe. Because direct intraoperative localization of SMA is difficult, the authors hypothesized that functional magnetic resonance (fMR) imaging might be useful in predicting the risk of postoperative deficits in patients who undergo resection of tumors in this region.

Methods. Twelve patients who had undergone fMR imaging mapping while performing speech and motor tasks prior to excision of their tumor, that is, based on anatomical landmarks involving the SMA, were included in this study. The distance between the edge of the tumor and the center of SMA activation was measured and was correlated with the risk of incurring postoperative neurological deficits.

In every patient, SMA activation was noted in the superior frontal gyrus on preoperative fMR imaging. Two speech and two motor deficits typical of SMA injury were observed in three of the 12 patients. The two speech deficits occurred in patients with tumors involving the dominant hemisphere, whereas one of the motor deficits occurred in a patient with a tumor in the nondominant hemisphere. The risk of developing a postoperative speech or motor deficit was 100% when the distance between the SMA and the tumor was 5 mm or less. When the distance between SMA activation and the lesion was greater than 5 mm, the risk of developing a motor or a speech deficit was 0% (p = 0.0007).

Conclusions. Early data from this study indicated that fMR imaging might be useful in localizing the SMA and in determining the risk of postoperative deficits in patients who undergo resection of tumors located in the medial frontal lobe.

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Brian P. Witwer, Roham Moftakhar, Khader M. Hasan, Praveen Deshmukh, Victor Haughton, Aaron Field, Konstantinos Arfanakis, Jane Noyes, Chad H. Moritz, M. Elizabeth Meyerand, Howard A. Rowley, Andrew L. Alexander, and Behnam Badie

Object. Preserving vital cerebral function while maximizing tumor resection is a principal goal in surgical neurooncology. Although functional magnetic resonance imaging has been useful in the localization of eloquent cerebral cortex, this method does not provide information about the white matter tracts that may be involved in invasive, intrinsic brain tumors. Recently, diffusion-tensor (DT) imaging techniques have been used to map white matter tracts in the normal brain. The aim of this study was to demonstrate the role of DT imaging in preoperative mapping of white matter tracts in relation to cerebral neoplasms.

Methods. Nine patients with brain malignancies (one pilocytic astrocytoma, five oligodendrogliomas, one low-grade oligoastrocytoma, one Grade 4 astrocytoma, and one metastatic adenocarcinoma) underwent DT imaging examinations prior to tumor excision. Anatomical information about white matter tract location, orientation, and projections was obtained in every patient. Depending on the tumor type and location, evidence of white matter tract edema (two patients), infiltration (two patients), displacement (five patients), and disruption (two patients) could be assessed with the aid of DT imaging in each case.

Conclusions. Diffusion-tensor imaging allowed for visualization of white matter tracts and was found to be beneficial in the surgical planning for patients with intrinsic brain tumors. The authors' experience with DT imaging indicates that anatomically intact fibers may be present in abnormal-appearing areas of the brain. Whether resection of these involved fibers results in subtle postoperative neurological deficits requires further systematic study.