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  • Author or Editor: Tomer Gazit x
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Tomer Gazit, Fani Andelman, Yifat Glikmann-Johnston, Tal Gonen, Aliya Solski, Irit Shapira-Lichter, Moran Ovadia, Svetlana Kipervasser, Miriam Y. Neufeld, Itzhak Fried, Talma Hendler and Daniella Perry

OBJECTIVE

Providing a reliable assessment of language lateralization is an important task to be performed prior to neurosurgery in patients with epilepsy. Over the last decade, functional MRI (fMRI) has emerged as a useful noninvasive tool for language lateralization, supplementing or replacing traditional invasive methods. In standard practice, fMRI-based language lateralization is assessed qualitatively by visual inspection of fMRI maps at a specific chosen activation threshold. The purpose of this study was to develop and evaluate a new computational technique for providing the probability of each patient to be left, right, or bilateral dominant in language processing.

METHODS

In 76 patients with epilepsy, a language lateralization index was calculated using the verb-generation fMRI task over a wide range of activation thresholds (from a permissive threshold, analyzing all brain regions, to a harsh threshold, analyzing only the strongest activations). The data were classified using a probabilistic logistic regression method.

RESULTS

Concordant results between fMRI and Wada lateralization were observed in 89% of patients. Bilateral and right-dominant groups showed similar fMRI lateralization patterns differentiating them from the left-dominant group but still allowing classification in 82% of patients.

CONCLUSIONS

These findings present the utility of a semi-supervised probabilistic learning approach for presurgical language-dominance mapping, which may be extended to other cognitive domains such as memory and attention.

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Michal M. Andelman-Gur, Tomer Gazit, Fani Andelman, Svetlana Kipervasser, Uri Kramer, Miri Y. Neufeld, Itzhak Fried and Firas Fahoum

OBJECTIVE

Experiential phenomena (EP), such as illusions and complex hallucinations, are vivid experiences created in one’s mind. They can occur spontaneously as epileptic auras or can be elicited by electrical brain stimulation (EBS) in patients undergoing presurgical evaluation for drug-resistant epilepsy. Previous work suggests that EP arise from activation of different nodes within interconnected neural networks mainly in the temporal lobes. Yet, the anatomical extent of these neural networks has not been described and the question of lateralization of EP has not been fully addressed. To this end, an extended number of brain regions in which electrical stimulation elicited EP were studied to test whether there is a lateralization propensity to EP phenomena.

METHODS

A total of 19 drug-resistant focal epilepsy patients who underwent EBS as part of invasive presurgical evaluation and who experienced EP during the stimulation were included. Spatial dispersion of visual and auditory illusions and complex hallucinations in each hemisphere was determined by calculation of Euclidean distances between electrodes and their centroid in common space, based on (x, y, z) Cartesian coordinates of electrode locations.

RESULTS

In total, 5857 stimulation epochs were analyzed; 917 stimulations elicited responses, out of which 130 elicited EP. Complex visual hallucinations were found to be widely dispersed in the right hemisphere, while they were tightly clustered in the occipital lobe of the left hemisphere. Visual illusions were elicited mostly in the occipital lobes bilaterally. Auditory illusions and hallucinations were evoked symmetrically in the temporal lobes.

CONCLUSIONS

These findings suggest that complex visual hallucinations arise from wider spread in the right compared to the left hemisphere, possibly mirroring the asymmetry in the white matter organization of the two hemispheres. These results offer some insights into lateralized differences in functional organization and connectivity that may be important for functional mapping and planning of surgical resections in patients with epilepsy.

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Tal Shahar, Akiva Korn, Gal Barkay, Tali Biron, Amir Hadanny, Tomer Gazit, Erez Nossek, Margaret Ekstein, Anat Kesler and Zvi Ram

OBJECTIVE

Resection of intraaxial tumors adjacent to the optic radiation (OR) may be associated with postoperative visual field (VF) deficits. Intraoperative navigation using MRI-based tractography and electrophysiological monitoring of the visual pathways may allow maximal resection while preserving visual function. In this study, the authors evaluated the value of visual pathway mapping in a series of patients undergoing awake craniotomy for tumor resection.

METHODS

A retrospective analysis of prospectively collected data was conducted in 18 patients who underwent an awake craniotomy for resection of intraaxial tumors involving or adjacent to the OR. Preoperative MRI-based tractography was used for intraoperative navigation, and intraoperative acquisition of 3D ultrasonography images was performed for real-time imaging and correction of brain shift. Goggles with light-emitting diodes were used as a standard visual stimulus. Direct cortical visual evoked potential (VEP) recording, subcortical recordings from the OR, and subcortical stimulation of the OR were used intraoperatively to assess visual function and proximity of the lesion to the OR. VFs were assessed pre- and postoperatively.

RESULTS

Baseline cortical VEP recordings were available for 14 patients (77.7%). No association was found between preoperative VF status and baseline presence of cortical VEPs (p = 0.27). Five of the 14 patients (35.7%) who underwent subcortical stimulation of the OR reported seeing phosphenes in the corresponding contralateral VF. There was a positive correlation (r = 0.899, p = 0.04) between the subcortical threshold stimulation intensity (3–11.5 mA) and the distance from the OR. Subcortical recordings from the OR demonstrated a typical VEP waveform in 10 of the 13 evaluated patients (76.9%). These waveforms were present only when recordings were obtained within 10 mm of the OR (p = 0.04). Seven patients (38.9%) had postoperative VF deterioration, and it was associated with a length of < 8 mm between the tumor and the OR (p = 0.05).

CONCLUSIONS

Intraoperative electrophysiological monitoring of the visual pathways is feasible but may be of limited value in preserving the functional integrity of the posterior visual pathways. Subcortical stimulation of the OR may identify the location of the OR when done in proximity to the pathways, but such proximity may be associated with increased risk of postoperative worsening of the VF deficit.

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Assaf Berger, Noa Cohen, Firas Fahoum, Mordekhay Medvedovsky, Aaron Meller, Dana Ekstein, Mony Benifla, Orna Aizenstein, Itzhak Fried, Tomer Gazit and Ido Strauss

OBJECTIVE

Preoperative localization of seizure onset zones (SOZs) is an evolving field in the treatment of refractory epilepsy. Both magnetic source imaging (MSI), and the more recent EEG-correlated functional MRI (EEG-fMRI), have shown applicability in assisting surgical planning. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the capability of each method and their combination in localizing the seizure onset lobe (SL).

METHODS

The study included 14 patients who underwent both MSI and EEG-fMRI before undergoing implantation of intracranial EEG (icEEG) as part of the presurgical planning of the resection of an epileptogenic zone (EZ) during the years 2012–2018. The estimated location of the SL by each method was compared with the location determined by icEEG. Identification rates of the SL were compared between the different methods.

RESULTS

MSI and EEG-fMRI showed similar identification rates of SL locations in relation to icEEG results (88% ± 31% and 73% ± 42%, respectively; p = 0.281). The additive use of the coverage lobes of both methods correctly identified 100% of the SL, significantly higher than EEG-fMRI alone (p = 0.039) and nonsignificantly higher than MSI (p = 0.180). False-identification rates of the additive coverage lobes were significantly higher than MSI (p = 0.026) and EEG-fMRI (p = 0.027). The intersecting lobes of both methods showed the lowest false identification rate (13% ± 6%, p = 0.01).

CONCLUSIONS

Both MSI and EEG-fMRI can assist in the presurgical evaluation of patients with refractory epilepsy. The additive use of both tests confers a high identification rate in finding the SL. This combination can help in focusing implantation of icEEG electrodes targeting the SOZ.