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Marco Rossi, Marco Conti Nibali, Luca Viganò, Guglielmo Puglisi, Henrietta Howells, Lorenzo Gay, Tommaso Sciortino, Antonella Leonetti, Marco Riva, Luca Fornia, Gabriella Cerri and Lorenzo Bello

OBJECTIVE

Brain mapping techniques allow one to effectively approach tumors involving the primary motor cortex (M1). Tumor resectability and maintenance of patient integrity depend on the ability to successfully identify motor tracts during resection by choosing the most appropriate neurophysiological paradigm for motor mapping. Mapping with a high-frequency (HF) stimulation technique has emerged as the most efficient tool to identify motor tracts because of its versatility in different clinical settings. At present, few data are available on the use of HF for removal of tumors predominantly involving M1.

METHODS

The authors retrospectively analyzed a series of 102 patients with brain tumors within M1, by reviewing the use of HF as a guide. The neurophysiological protocols adopted during resections were described and correlated with patients’ clinical and tumor imaging features. Feasibility of mapping, extent of resection, and motor function assessment were used to evaluate the oncological and functional outcome to be correlated with the selected neurophysiological parameters used for guiding resection. The study aimed to define the most efficient protocol to guide resection for each clinical condition.

RESULTS

The data confirmed HF as an efficient tool for guiding resection of M1 tumors, affording 85.3% complete resection and only 2% permanent morbidity. HF was highly versatile, adapting the stimulation paradigm and the probe to the clinical context. Three approaches were used. The first was a “standard approach” (HF “train of 5,” using a monopolar probe) applied in 51 patients with no motor deficit and seizure control, harboring a well-defined tumor, showing contrast enhancement in most cases, and reaching the M1 surface. Complete resection was achieved in 72.5%, and 2% had permanent morbidity. The second approach was an “increased train approach,” that is, an increase in the number of pulses (7–9) and of pulse duration, using a monopolar probe. This second approach was applied in 8 patients with a long clinical history, previous treatment (surgery, radiation therapy, chemotherapy), motor deficit at admission, poor seizure control, and mostly high-grade gliomas or metastases. Complete resection was achieved in 87.5% using this approach, along with 0% permanent morbidity. The final approach was a “reduced train approach,” which was the combined use of train of 2 or train of 1 pulses associated with the standard approach, using a monopolar or bipolar probe. This approach was used in 43 patients with a long clinical history and poorly controlled seizures, harboring tumors with irregular borders without contrast enhancement (low or lower grade), possibly not reaching the cortical surface. Complete resection was attained in 88.4%, and permanent morbidity was found in 2.3%.

CONCLUSIONS

Resection of M1 tumors is feasible and safe. By adapting the stimulation paradigm and probe appropriately to the clinical context, the best resection and functional results can be achieved.

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Marco Rossi, Luca Fornia, Guglielmo Puglisi, Antonella Leonetti, Gianmarco Zuccon, Enrica Fava, Daniela Milani, Alessandra Casarotti, Marco Riva, Federico Pessina, Gabriella Cerri and Lorenzo Bello

OBJECTIVE

Apraxia is a cognitive-motor deficit affecting the execution of skilled movements, termed praxis gestures, in the absence of primary sensory or motor disorders. In patients affected by stroke, apraxia is associated with lesions of the lateral parietofrontal stream, connecting the posterior parietal areas with the ventrolateral premotor area and subserving sensory-motor integration for the hand movements. In the neurosurgical literature to date, there are few reports regarding the incidence of apraxia after glioma surgery. A retrospective analysis of patients who harbored a glioma around the central sulcus and close to the parietofrontal circuits in depth showed a high incidence of long-term postoperative hand apraxia, impairing the patients’ quality of life. To avoid the occurrence of postoperative apraxia, the authors sought to develop an innovative intraoperative hand manipulation task (HMt) that can be used in association with the brain mapping technique to identify and preserve the cortical and subcortical structures belonging to the praxis network.

METHODS

The intraoperative efficacy of the HMt was investigated by comparing the incidence of postoperative ideomotor apraxia between patients undergoing mapping with (n = 79) and without (n = 41) the HMt. Patient groups were balanced for all demographic and clinical features.

RESULTS

In patients with lesions in the dominant hemisphere, the HMt dramatically reduced the incidence of apraxia, with a higher sensitivity for the ideomotor than for the constructional abilities; patients with lesions in the nondominant hemisphere benefitted from the HMt for both ideomotor and constructional abilities. The administration of the test did not reduce the extent of resection.

CONCLUSIONS

The HMt is a safe and feasible intraoperative tool that allowed surgeons to prevent the occurrence of long-term hand apraxia while attaining resection goals for the surgical treatment of glioma.

Free access

Guglielmo Puglisi, Tommaso Sciortino, Marco Rossi, Antonella Leonetti, Luca Fornia, Marco Conti Nibali, Alessandra Casarotti, Federico Pessina, Marco Riva, Gabriella Cerri and Lorenzo Bello

OBJECTIVE

The goal of surgery for gliomas is maximal tumor removal while preserving the patient’s full functional integrity. At present during frontal tumor removal, this goal is mostly achieved, although the risk of impairing the executive functions (EFs), and thus the quality of life, remains significant. The authors investigated the accuracy of an intraoperative version of the Stroop task (iST), adapted for intraoperative mapping, to detect EF-related brain sites by evaluating the impact of the iST brain mapping on preserving functional integrity following a maximal tumor resection.

METHODS

Forty-five patients with nondominant frontal gliomas underwent awake surgery; brain mapping was used to establish the functional boundaries for the resection. In 18 patients language, praxis, and motor functions, but not EFs (control group), were mapped intraoperatively at the cortical-subcortical level. In 27 patients, in addition to language, praxis, and motor functions, EFs were mapped with the iST at the cortical-subcortical level (Stroop group). In both groups the EF performance was evaluated preoperatively, at 7 days and 3 months after surgery.

RESULTS

The iST was successfully administered in all patients. Consistent interferences, such as color-word inversion/latency, were obtained by stimulating precise white matter sites below the inferior and middle frontal gyri, anterior to the insula and over the putamen, and these were used to establish the posterior functional limit of the resection. Procedures implemented with iST dramatically reduced the EF deficits at 3 months. The EOR was similar in Stroop and control groups.

CONCLUSIONS

Brain mapping with the iST allows identification and preservation of the frontal lobe structures involved in inhibition of automatic responses, reducing the incidence of postoperative EF deficits and enhancing the further posterior and inferior margin of tumor resection.