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Satoshi Takahashi, Peter Vajkoczy and Thomas Picht

Object

Navigated transcranial magnetic stimulation (nTMS) is a novel technology in the field of neurosurgery for noninvasive delineation of cortical functional topography. This study addresses the spatial accuracy and clinical usefulness of nTMS in brain tumor surgery in or near the motor cortex based on a systematic review of observational studies.

Methods

A systematic search retrieved 11 reports published up to October 2012 in which adult patients were examined with nTMS prior to surgery. Quality criteria consisted of documentation of the influence of nTMS brain mapping on clinical decision making in a standardized prospective manner and/or performance of intraoperative direct electrical stimulation (DES) and comparison with nTMS results. Cross-observational assessment of nTMS accuracy was established by calculating a weighted mean distance between nTMS and DES.

Results

All studies reviewed in this article concluded that nTMS correlated well with the “gold standard” of DES. The mean distance between motor cortex identified on nTMS and DES by using the mean distance in 81 patients described in 6 quantitatively evaluated studies was 6.18 mm. The nTMS results changed the surgical strategy based on anatomical imaging alone in 25.3% of all patients, based on the data obtained in 87 patients in 2 studies.

Conclusions

The nTMS technique spatially correlates well with the gold standard of DES. Its functional information benefits surgical decision making and changes the treatment strategy in one-fourth of cases.

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Nico Sollmann, Thomas Picht, Jyrki P. Mäkelä, Bernhard Meyer, Florian Ringel and Sandro M. Krieg

Up to now, navigated transcranial magnetic stimulation (nTMS) has been used for motor mapping in the vicinity of rolandic brain lesions. Recently, nTMS has also been suggested to be useful in mapping human language areas.

The authors describe the case of a left-handed patient with a left-side glioblastoma within the opercular inferior frontal gyrus who presented with severe motor aphasia. Preoperative functional MRI (fMRI) indicated speech dominance of the right hemisphere and did not show any language-related activation in the vicinity of the tumor. Navigated TMS, however, showed a significantly higher rate of induced speech arrests for the left than for the right. Left-side direct cortical stimulation induced clear speech arrests during awake surgery.

This case suggests that nTMS may be useful for preoperative speech mapping in tumors affecting the anatomy, vasculature, and brain oxygen levels and therefore impairing fMRI reliability.

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Tizian Rosenstock, Ulrike Grittner, Güliz Acker, Vera Schwarzer, Nataliia Kulchytska, Peter Vajkoczy and Thomas Picht

OBJECTIVE

Navigated transcranial magnetic stimulation (nTMS) is a noninvasive method for preoperatively localizing functional areas in patients with tumors in presumed motor eloquent areas. The aim of this study was to establish an nTMS-based risk stratification model by examining whether the results of nTMS mapping and its neurophysiological data predict postoperative motor outcome in glioma surgery.

METHODS

Included in this study were prospectively collected data for 113 patients undergoing bihemispheric nTMS examination prior to surgery for gliomas in presumed motor eloquent locations. Multiple ordinal logistic regression analysis was performed to test for any association between preoperative nTMS-related variables and postoperative motor outcome.

RESULTS

A new motor deficit or deterioration due to a preexisting deficit was observed in 20% of cases after 7 days and in 22% after 3 months. In terms of tumor location, no new permanent deficit was observed when the distance between tumor and corticospinal tract was greater than 8 mm and the precentral gyrus was not infiltrated (p = 0.014). New postoperative deficits on Day 7 were associated with a pathological excitability of the motor cortices (interhemispheric resting motor threshold [RMT] ratio < 90% or > 110%, p = 0.031). Interestingly, motor function never improved when the RMT was significantly higher in the tumorous hemisphere than in the healthy hemisphere (RMT ratio > 110%).

CONCLUSIONS

The proposed risk stratification model, based on objective functional-anatomical and neurophysiological measures, enables one to counsel patients about the risk of functional deterioration or the potential for recovery.

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Julius Dengler, Mario Cabraja, Katharina Faust, Thomas Picht, Theodoros Kombos and Peter Vajkoczy

Object

Intraoperative neurophysiological monitoring (IONM) represents an established tool in neurosurgery to increase patient safety. Its application, however, is controversial. Its use has been described as helpful in avoiding neurological deterioration during intracranial aneurysm surgery. Its impact on extracranial-intracranial (EC-IC) bypass surgery involving parent artery occlusion for the treatment of complex aneurysms has not yet been studied. The authors therefore sought to evaluate the effects of IONM on patient safety, the surgeon's intraoperative strategies, and functional outcome of patients after cerebral bypass surgery. Intraoperative neurophysiological monitoring results were compared with those of intraoperative blood flow monitoring to assess bypass graft perfusion.

Methods

Compound motor action potentials (CMAPs) were generated using transcranial electrical stimulation in patients undergoing EC-IC bypass surgery. Preoperative and postoperative motor function was analyzed. To assess graft function, intraoperative flowmetry and indocyanine green fluorescence angiography were performed. Special care was taken to compare the relevance of electrophysiological and blood flow monitoring in the detection of critical intraoperative ischemic episodes.

Results

The study included 31 patients with 31 aneurysms and 1 bilateral occlusion of the internal carotid arteries, undergoing 32 EC-IC bypass surgeries in which radial artery or saphenous vein grafts were used. In 11 cases, 15 CMAP events were observed, helping the surgeon to determine the source of deterioration and to react to it: 14 were reversible and only 1 showed no recovery. In all cases, blood flow monitoring showed good perfusion of the bypass grafts. There were no false-negative results in this series. New postoperative motor deficits were transient in 1 case, permanent in 1 case, and not present in all other cases.

Conclusions

Intraoperative neurophysiological monitoring is a helpful tool for continuous functional monitoring of patients undergoing large-caliber vessel EC-IC bypass surgery. The authors' results suggest that continuous neurophysiological monitoring during EC-IC bypass surgery has relevant advantages over flow-oriented monitoring techniques such as intraoperative flowmetry or indocyanine green–based angiography.

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Giovanni Raffa, Thomas Picht, Antonino Scibilia, Judith Rösler, Johannes Rein, Alfredo Conti, Giuseppe Ricciardo, Salvatore Massimiliano Cardali, Peter Vajkoczy and Antonino Germanò

OBJECTIVE

Surgical treatment of convexity meningiomas is usually considered a low-risk procedure. Nevertheless, the risk of postoperative motor deficits is higher (7.1%–24.7% of all cases) for lesions located in the rolandic region, especially when an arachnoidal cleavage plane with the motor pathway is not identifiable. The authors analyzed the possible role of navigated transcranial magnetic stimulation (nTMS) for planning resection of rolandic meningiomas and predicting the presence or lack of an intraoperative arachnoidal cleavage plane as well as the postoperative motor outcome.

METHODS

Clinical data were retrospectively collected from surgical cases involving patients affected by convexity, parasagittal, or falx meningiomas involving the rolandic region, who received preoperative nTMS mapping of the motor cortex (M1) and nTMS-based diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) fiber tracking of the corticospinal tract before surgery at 2 different neurosurgical centers. Surgeons’ self-reported evaluation of the impact of nTMS-based mapping on surgical strategy was analyzed. Moreover, the nTMS mapping accuracy was evaluated in comparison with intraoperative neurophysiological mapping (IONM). Lastly, we assessed the role of nTMS as well as other pre- and intraoperative parameters for predicting the patients’ motor outcome and the presence or absence of an intraoperative arachnoidal cleavage plane.

RESULTS

Forty-seven patients were included in this study. The nTMS-based planning was considered useful in 89.3% of cases, and a change of the surgical strategy was observed in 42.5% of cases. The agreement of nTMS-based planning and IONM-based strategy in 35 patients was 94.2%. A new permanent motor deficit occurred in 8.5% of cases (4 of 47). A higher resting motor threshold (RMT) and the lack of an intraoperative arachnoidal cleavage plane were the only independent predictors of a poor motor outcome (p = 0.04 and p = 0.02, respectively). Moreover, a higher RMT and perilesional edema also predicted the lack of an arachnoidal cleavage plane (p = 0.01 and p = 0.03, respectively). Preoperative motor status, T2 cleft sign, contrast-enhancement pattern, and tumor volume had no predictive value.

CONCLUSIONS

nTMS-based motor mapping is a useful tool for presurgical assessment of rolandic meningiomas, especially when a clear cleavage plane with M1 is not present. Moreover, the RMT can indicate the presence or absence of an intraoperative cleavage plane and predict the motor outcome, thereby helping to identify high-risk patients before surgery.