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Virendra R. Desai, Aditya Vedantam, Sandi K. Lam, Lucia Mirea, Stephen T. Foldes, Daniel J. Curry, P. David Adelson, Angus A. Wilfong and Varina L. Boerwinkle

OBJECTIVE

Determining language laterality in patients with intractable epilepsy is important in operative planning. Wada testing is the gold standard, but it has a risk of stroke. Both Wada and task-based functional MRI (tb-fMRI) require patient cooperation. Recently, resting-state fMRI (rs-fMRI) has been explored for language lateralization. In the present study, the correlation between rs-fMRI and tb-fMRI in language lateralization is estimated in a pediatric population with intractable epilepsy.

METHODS

rs-fMRI and tb-fMRI language lateralization testing performed as part of epilepsy surgery evaluation was retrospectively reviewed.

RESULTS

Twenty-nine patients underwent rs-fMRI and tb-fMRI; a total of 38 rs-fMRI studies and 30 tb-fMRI studies were obtained. tb-fMRI suggested left dominance in 25 of 30 cases (83%), right in 3 (10%), and in 2 (7%) the studies were nondiagnostic. In rs-fMRI, 26 of 38 studies (68%) suggested left dominance, 3 (8%) right dominance, 6 (16%) bilateral, and 3 (8%) were nondiagnostic. When tb-fMRI lateralized to the left hemisphere (25 cases), rs-fMRI was lateralized to the left in 23 patients (92%) and it was bilateral/equal in 2 (8%). When tb-fMRI lateralized to the right (3 cases), rs-fMRI lateralized to the right in all cases (100%). The overall concordance rate was 0.93 (95% CI 0.76–0.99) when considering cases with tb-fMRI and rs-fMRI performed within 6 months of each other, and tb-fMRI results were not nondiagnostic.

CONCLUSIONS

rs-fMRI significantly correlated with tb-fMRI in lateralizing language and suggests the potential role for identifying hemispheric dominance via rs-fMRI. Further investigation and validation studies are warranted.

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Varina L. Boerwinkle, Lucia Mirea, William D. Gaillard, Bethany L. Sussman, Diana Larocque, Alexandra Bonnell, Jennifer S. Ronecker, Matthew M. Troester, John F. Kerrigan, Stephen T. Foldes, Brian Appavu, Randa Jarrar, Korwyn Williams, Angus A. Wilfong and P. David Adelson

OBJECTIVE

The authors’ goal was to prospectively quantify the impact of resting-state functional MRI (rs-fMRI) on pediatric epilepsy surgery planning.

METHODS

Fifty-one consecutive patients (3 months to 20 years old) with intractable epilepsy underwent rs-fMRI for presurgical evaluation. The team reviewed the following available diagnostic data: video-electroencephalography (n = 51), structural MRI (n = 51), FDG-PET (n = 42), magnetoencephalography (n = 5), and neuropsychological testing (n = 51) results to formulate an initial surgery plan blinded to the rs-fMRI findings. Subsequent to this discussion, the connectivity results were revealed and final recommendations were established. Changes between pre– and post–rs-fMRI treatment plans were determined, and changes in surgery recommendation were compared using McNemar’s test.

RESULTS

Resting-state fMRI was successfully performed in 50 (98%) of 51 cases and changed the seizure onset zone localization in 44 (88%) of 50 patients. The connectivity results prompted 6 additional studies, eliminated the ordering of 11 further diagnostic studies, and changed the intracranial monitoring plan in 10 cases. The connectivity results significantly altered surgery planning with the addition of 13 surgeries, but it did not eliminate planned surgeries (p = 0.003). Among the 38 epilepsy surgeries performed, the final surgical approach changed due to rs-fMRI findings in 22 cases (58%), including 8 (28%) of 29 in which extraoperative direct electrical stimulation mapping was averted.

CONCLUSIONS

This study demonstrates the impact of rs-fMRI connectivity results on the decision-making for pediatric epilepsy surgery by providing new information about the location of eloquent cortex and the seizure onset zone. Additionally, connectivity results may increase the proportion of patients considered eligible for surgery while optimizing the need for further testing.