Resection of insular gliomas is challenging. In cases of intraoperative injury to the lenticulostriate arteries (LSAs), the usual result is a dense hemiplegia. LSAs are usually localized just behind the medial tumor border but they can also be encased by the tumor. Thus, exact localization of these perforators is important. However, intraoperative localization of LSAs using conventional neuronavigation can be difficult due to brain shift. In this paper, the authors present a novel method of intraoperative LSA visualization by navigated 3D ultrasound (3DUS) power Doppler. This technique enables almost real-time imaging of LSAs and evaluation of their shift during insular tumor resections.
Six patients harboring insular Grade II gliomas were consecutively operated on at the Department of Neurosurgery in Bratislava using visualization of LSAs by navigated 3DUS power Doppler. In all cases, the 3DUS data were repeatedly updated to compensate for the brain shift and display the actual position of LSAs and residual tumor.
Successful visualization of LSAs was achieved in all cases. During all surgeries, the distance between the bottom of the resection cavity and LSAs could be accurately evaluated; in all tumors the resection approached the LSAs and only a minimal amount of tissue covering these perforators was intentionally left in place to avoid injury to them.
Visualization of LSAs by navigated 3DUS power Doppler is a useful tool that may help to prevent injury of LSAs during removal of insular low-grade gliomas. However, reliability of this method has to be carefully evaluated in further studies.