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Marco Rossi, Marco Conti Nibali, Luca Viganò, Guglielmo Puglisi, Henrietta Howells, Lorenzo Gay, Tommaso Sciortino, Antonella Leonetti, Marco Riva, Luca Fornia, Gabriella Cerri and Lorenzo Bello

OBJECTIVE

Brain mapping techniques allow one to effectively approach tumors involving the primary motor cortex (M1). Tumor resectability and maintenance of patient integrity depend on the ability to successfully identify motor tracts during resection by choosing the most appropriate neurophysiological paradigm for motor mapping. Mapping with a high-frequency (HF) stimulation technique has emerged as the most efficient tool to identify motor tracts because of its versatility in different clinical settings. At present, few data are available on the use of HF for removal of tumors predominantly involving M1.

METHODS

The authors retrospectively analyzed a series of 102 patients with brain tumors within M1, by reviewing the use of HF as a guide. The neurophysiological protocols adopted during resections were described and correlated with patients’ clinical and tumor imaging features. Feasibility of mapping, extent of resection, and motor function assessment were used to evaluate the oncological and functional outcome to be correlated with the selected neurophysiological parameters used for guiding resection. The study aimed to define the most efficient protocol to guide resection for each clinical condition.

RESULTS

The data confirmed HF as an efficient tool for guiding resection of M1 tumors, affording 85.3% complete resection and only 2% permanent morbidity. HF was highly versatile, adapting the stimulation paradigm and the probe to the clinical context. Three approaches were used. The first was a “standard approach” (HF “train of 5,” using a monopolar probe) applied in 51 patients with no motor deficit and seizure control, harboring a well-defined tumor, showing contrast enhancement in most cases, and reaching the M1 surface. Complete resection was achieved in 72.5%, and 2% had permanent morbidity. The second approach was an “increased train approach,” that is, an increase in the number of pulses (7–9) and of pulse duration, using a monopolar probe. This second approach was applied in 8 patients with a long clinical history, previous treatment (surgery, radiation therapy, chemotherapy), motor deficit at admission, poor seizure control, and mostly high-grade gliomas or metastases. Complete resection was achieved in 87.5% using this approach, along with 0% permanent morbidity. The final approach was a “reduced train approach,” which was the combined use of train of 2 or train of 1 pulses associated with the standard approach, using a monopolar or bipolar probe. This approach was used in 43 patients with a long clinical history and poorly controlled seizures, harboring tumors with irregular borders without contrast enhancement (low or lower grade), possibly not reaching the cortical surface. Complete resection was attained in 88.4%, and permanent morbidity was found in 2.3%.

CONCLUSIONS

Resection of M1 tumors is feasible and safe. By adapting the stimulation paradigm and probe appropriately to the clinical context, the best resection and functional results can be achieved.

Free access

Guglielmo Puglisi, Tommaso Sciortino, Marco Rossi, Antonella Leonetti, Luca Fornia, Marco Conti Nibali, Alessandra Casarotti, Federico Pessina, Marco Riva, Gabriella Cerri and Lorenzo Bello

OBJECTIVE

The goal of surgery for gliomas is maximal tumor removal while preserving the patient’s full functional integrity. At present during frontal tumor removal, this goal is mostly achieved, although the risk of impairing the executive functions (EFs), and thus the quality of life, remains significant. The authors investigated the accuracy of an intraoperative version of the Stroop task (iST), adapted for intraoperative mapping, to detect EF-related brain sites by evaluating the impact of the iST brain mapping on preserving functional integrity following a maximal tumor resection.

METHODS

Forty-five patients with nondominant frontal gliomas underwent awake surgery; brain mapping was used to establish the functional boundaries for the resection. In 18 patients language, praxis, and motor functions, but not EFs (control group), were mapped intraoperatively at the cortical-subcortical level. In 27 patients, in addition to language, praxis, and motor functions, EFs were mapped with the iST at the cortical-subcortical level (Stroop group). In both groups the EF performance was evaluated preoperatively, at 7 days and 3 months after surgery.

RESULTS

The iST was successfully administered in all patients. Consistent interferences, such as color-word inversion/latency, were obtained by stimulating precise white matter sites below the inferior and middle frontal gyri, anterior to the insula and over the putamen, and these were used to establish the posterior functional limit of the resection. Procedures implemented with iST dramatically reduced the EF deficits at 3 months. The EOR was similar in Stroop and control groups.

CONCLUSIONS

Brain mapping with the iST allows identification and preservation of the frontal lobe structures involved in inhibition of automatic responses, reducing the incidence of postoperative EF deficits and enhancing the further posterior and inferior margin of tumor resection.

Free access

Marco Rossi, Federico Ambrogi, Lorenzo Gay, Marcello Gallucci, Marco Conti Nibali, Antonella Leonetti, Guglielmo Puglisi, Tommaso Sciortino, Henrietta Howells, Marco Riva, Federico Pessina, Pierina Navarria, Ciro Franzese, Matteo Simonelli, Roberta Rudà and Lorenzo Bello

OBJECTIVE

Surgery for low-grade gliomas (LGGs) aims to achieve maximal tumor removal and maintenance of patients’ functional integrity. Because extent of resection is one of the factors affecting the natural history of LGGs, surgery could be extended further than total resection toward a supratotal resection, beyond tumor borders detectable on FLAIR imaging. Supratotal resection is highly debated, mainly due to a lack of evidence of its feasibility and safety. The authors explored the intraoperative feasibility of supratotal resection and its short- and long-term impact on functional integrity in a large cohort of patients. The role of some putative factors in the achievement of supratotal resection was also studied.

METHODS

Four hundred forty-nine patients with a presumptive radiological diagnosis of LGG consecutively admitted to the neurosurgical oncology service at the University of Milan over a 5-year period were enrolled. In all patients, a policy was adopted to perform surgery according to functional boundaries, aimed at achieving a supratotal resection whenever possible, without any patient or tumor a priori selection. Feasibility, general safety, and tumor or patient putative factors possibly affecting the achievement of a supratotal resection were analyzed. Postsurgical patient functional performance was evaluated in five cognitive domains (memory, language, praxis, executive functions, and fluid intelligence) using a detailed neuropsychological evaluation and quality of life (QOL) examination.

RESULTS

Total resection was feasible in 40.8% of patients, and supratotal resection in 32.3%. The achievement of a supratotal versus total resection was independent of age, sex, education, tumor volume, deep extension, location, handedness, appearance of tumor border, vicinity to eloquent sites, surgical mapping time, or surgical tools applied. Supratotal resection was associated with a long clinical history and histological grade II, suggesting that reshaping of brain networks occurred. Although a consistent amount of apparently MRI-normal brain was removed with this approach, the procedure was safe and did not carry additional risk to the patient, as demonstrated by detailed neuropsychological evaluation and QOL examination. This approach also improved seizure control.

CONCLUSIONS

Supratotal resection is feasible and safe in routine clinical practice. These results show that a long clinical history may be the main factor associated with its achievement.

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Domenique M. J. Müller, Pierre A. Robe, Hilko Ardon, Frederik Barkhof, Lorenzo Bello, Mitchel S. Berger, Wim Bouwknegt, Wimar A. Van den Brink, Marco Conti Nibali, Roelant S. Eijgelaar, Julia Furtner, Seunggu J. Han, Shawn L. Hervey-Jumper, Albert J. S. Idema, Barbara Kiesel, Alfred Kloet, Jan C. De Munck, Marco Rossi, Tommaso Sciortino, W. Peter Vandertop, Martin Visser, Michiel Wagemakers, Georg Widhalm, Marnix G. Witte, Aeilko H. Zwinderman and Philip C. De Witt Hamer

OBJECTIVE

Decisions in glioblastoma surgery are often guided by presumed eloquence of the tumor location. The authors introduce the “expected residual tumor volume” (eRV) and the “expected resectability index” (eRI) based on previous decisions aggregated in resection probability maps. The diagnostic accuracy of eRV and eRI to predict biopsy decisions, resectability, functional outcome, and survival was determined.

METHODS

Consecutive patients with first-time glioblastoma surgery in 2012–2013 were included from 12 hospitals. The eRV was calculated from the preoperative MR images of each patient using a resection probability map, and the eRI was derived from the tumor volume. As reference, Sawaya’s tumor location eloquence grades (EGs) were classified. Resectability was measured as observed extent of resection (EOR) and residual volume, and functional outcome as change in Karnofsky Performance Scale score. Receiver operating characteristic curves and multivariable logistic regression were applied.

RESULTS

Of 915 patients, 674 (74%) underwent a resection with a median EOR of 97%, functional improvement in 71 (8%), functional decline in 78 (9%), and median survival of 12.8 months. The eRI and eRV identified biopsies and EORs of at least 80%, 90%, or 98% better than EG. The eRV and eRI predicted observed residual volumes under 10, 5, and 1 ml better than EG. The eRV, eRI, and EG had low diagnostic accuracy for functional outcome changes. Higher eRV and lower eRI were strongly associated with shorter survival, independent of known prognostic factors.

CONCLUSIONS

The eRV and eRI predict biopsy decisions, resectability, and survival better than eloquence grading and may be useful preoperative indices to support surgical decisions.