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Michael G. Hart, Stephen J. Price and John Suckling

OBJECTIVE

Resection of focal brain lesions involves maximizing the resection while preserving brain function. Mapping brain function has entered a new era focusing on distributed connectivity networks at “rest,” that is, in the absence of a specific task or stimulus, requiring minimal participant engagement. Central to this frame shift has been the development of methods for the rapid assessment of whole-brain connectivity with functional MRI (fMRI) involving blood oxygenation level–dependent imaging. The authors appraised the feasibility of fMRI-based mapping of a repertoire of functional connectivity networks in neurosurgical patients with focal lesions and the potential benefits of resting-state connectivity mapping for surgical planning.

METHODS

Resting-state fMRI sequences with a 3-T scanner and multiecho echo-planar imaging coupled to independent component analysis were acquired preoperatively from 5 study participants who had a right temporoparietooccipital glioblastoma. Seed-based functional connectivity analysis was performed with InstaCorr. Network identification focused on 7 major functional connectivity networks described in the literature and a putative language network centered on Broca's area.

RESULTS

All 8 functional connectivity networks were identified in each participant. Tumor-related topological changes to the default mode network were observed in all participants. In addition, each participant had at least 1 other abnormal network, and each network was abnormal in at least 1 participant. Individual patterns of network irregularities were identified with a qualitative approach and included local displacement due to mass effect, loss of a functional network component, and recruitment of new regions.

CONCLUSIONS

Resting-state fMRI can reliably and rapidly detect common functional connectivity networks in patients with glioblastoma and also has sufficient sensitivity for identifying patterns of network alterations. Mapping of functional connectivity networks offers the possibility to expand investigations to less commonly explored neuropsychological processes, such as executive control, attention, and salience. Changes in these networks may allow insights into mechanisms underlying the functional consequences of tumor growth, surgical intervention, and patient rehabilitation.

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Michael G. Hart, Rolf J. F. Ypma, Rafael Romero-Garcia, Stephen J. Price and John Suckling

Neuroanatomy has entered a new era, culminating in the search for the connectome, otherwise known as the brain’s wiring diagram. While this approach has led to landmark discoveries in neuroscience, potential neurosurgical applications and collaborations have been lagging. In this article, the authors describe the ideas and concepts behind the connectome and its analysis with graph theory. Following this they then describe how to form a connectome using resting state functional MRI data as an example. Next they highlight selected insights into healthy brain function that have been derived from connectome analysis and illustrate how studies into normal development, cognitive function, and the effects of synthetic lesioning can be relevant to neurosurgery. Finally, they provide a précis of early applications of the connectome and related techniques to traumatic brain injury, functional neurosurgery, and neurooncology.

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Nicole C. H. Keong, Alonso Pena, Stephen J. Price, Marek Czosnyka, Zofia Czosnyka and John D. Pickard

The pathophysiology of NPH continues to provoke debate. Although guidelines and best-practice recommendations are well established, there remains a lack of consensus about the role of individual imaging modalities in characterizing specific features of the condition and predicting the success of CSF shunting. Variability of clinical presentation and imperfect responsiveness to shunting are obstacles to the application of novel imaging techniques. Few studies have sought to interpret imaging findings in the context of theories of NPH pathogenesis. In this paper, the authors discuss the major streams of thought for the evolution of NPH and the relevance of key imaging studies contributing to the understanding of the pathophysiology of this complex condition.

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Bart Roelf Jan van Dijken, Peter Jan van Laar, Chao Li, Jiun-Lin Yan, Natalie Rosella Boonzaier, Stephen John Price, FCRS and Anouk van der Hoorn

OBJECTIVE

The purpose of this study was to prospectively investigate outcome and differences in peritumoral MRI characteristics of glioblastomas (GBMs) that were in contact with the ventricles (ventricle-contacting tumors) and those that were not (noncontacting tumors). GBMs are heterogeneous tumors with variable survival. Lower survival is suggested for patients with ventricle-contacting tumors than for those with noncontacting tumors. This might be supported by aggressive peritumoral MRI features. However, differences in MRI characteristics of the peritumoral environment between ventricle-contacting and noncontacting GBMs have not yet been investigated.

METHODS

Patients with newly diagnosed GBM underwent preoperative MRI with contrast-enhanced T1-weighted, FLAIR, diffusion-weighted, and perfusion-weighted sequences. Tumors were categorized into ventricle-contacting or noncontacting based on contrast enhancement. Survival analysis was performed using log-rank for univariate analysis and Cox regression for multivariate analysis. Normalized perfusion (relative cerebral blood volume [rCBV]) and diffusion (apparent diffusion coefficient [ADC]) values were calculated in 2 regions: the peritumoral nonenhancing FLAIR region overlapping the subventricular zone and the remaining peritumoral nonenhancing FLAIR region.

RESULTS

Overall survival was significantly lower for patients with contacting tumors than for those with noncontacting tumors (434 vs 747 days, p < 0.001). Progression-free survival showed a comparable trend (260 vs 375 days, p = 0.094). Multivariate analysis confirmed a survival difference for both overall survival (HR 3.930, 95% CI 1.740–8.875, p = 0.001) and progression-free survival (HR 2.506, 95% CI 1.254–5.007, p = 0.009). Peritumoral perfusion was higher in contacting than in noncontacting tumors for both FLAIR regions (p = 0.04). There was no difference in peritumoral ADC values between the 2 groups.

CONCLUSIONS

Patients with ventricle-contacting tumors had poorer outcomes than patients with noncontacting tumors. This disadvantage of ventricle contact might be explained by higher peritumoral perfusion leading to more aggressive behavior.