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Alessandro De Benedictis, Silvio Sarubbo and Hugues Duffau


Recent neuroimaging and surgical results support the crucial role of white matter in mediating motor and higher-level processing within the frontal lobe, while suggesting the limited compensatory capacity after damage to subcortical structures. Consequently, an accurate knowledge of the anatomofunctional organization of the pathways running within this region is mandatory for planning safe and effective surgical approaches to different diseases. The aim of this dissection study was to improve the neurosurgeon's awareness of the subcortical anatomofunctional architecture for a lateral approach to the frontal region, to optimize both resection and postoperative outcome.


Ten human hemispheres (5 left, 5 right) were dissected according to the Klingler technique. Proceeding lateromedially, the main association and projection tracts as well as the deeper basal structures were identified. The authors describe the anatomy and the relationships among the exposed structures in both a systematic and topographical surgical perspective. Structural results were also correlated to the functional responses obtained during resections of infiltrative frontal tumors guided by direct cortico-subcortical electrostimulation with patients in the awake condition.


The eloquent boundaries crucial for a safe frontal lobectomy or an extensive lesionectomy are as follows: 1) the motor cortex; 2) the pyramidal tract and premotor fibers in the posterior and posteromedial part of the surgical field; 3) the inferior frontooccipital fascicle and the superior longitudinal fascicle posterolaterally; and 4) underneath the inferior frontal gyrus, the head of the caudate nucleus, and the tip of the frontal horn of the lateral ventricle in the depth.


Optimization of results following brain surgery, especially within the frontal lobe, requires a perfect knowledge of functional anatomy, not only at the cortical level but also with regard to subcortical white matter connectivity.

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Domenico Zacà, Jorge Jovicich, Francesco Corsini, Umberto Rozzanigo, Franco Chioffi and Silvio Sarubbo


Resting-state functional MRI (rs-fMRI) represents a promising and cost-effective alternative to task-based fMRI for presurgical mapping. However, the lack of clinically streamlined and reliable rs-fMRI analysis tools has prevented wide adoption of this technique. In this work, the authors introduce an rs-fMRI processing pipeline (ReStNeuMap) for automatic single-patient rs-fMRI network analysis.


The authors provide a description of the rs-fMRI network analysis steps implemented in ReStNeuMap and report their initial experience with this tool after performing presurgical mapping in 6 patients. They verified the spatial agreement between rs-fMRI networks derived by ReStNeuMap and localization of activation with intraoperative direct electrical stimulation (DES).


The authors automatically extracted rs-fMRI networks including eloquent cortex in spatial proximity with the resected lesion in all patients. The distance between DES points and corresponding rs-fMRI networks was less than 1 cm in 78% of cases for motor, 100% of cases for visual, 87.5% of cases for language, and 100% of cases for speech articulation mapping.


The authors’ initial experience with ReStNeuMap showed good spatial agreement between presurgical rs-fMRI predictions and DES findings during awake surgery. The availability of the rs-fMRI analysis tools for clinicians aiming to perform noninvasive mapping of brain functional networks may extend its application beyond surgical practice.

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Silvio Sarubbo, Domenico Zacà, Lisa Novello, Luciano Annicchiarico, Francesco Corsini, Umberto Rozzanigo, Franco Chioffi and Jorge Jovicich