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Daily bibliographic review of the Neurosurgery Department. La Fe University Hospital. Valencia, Spain

Spontaneous speech of patients with gliomas in eloquent areas before and early after surgery

Aphasia induced by gliomas

Acta Neurochir Volume 155, Issue 4, April 2013, 685-692

Glioma patients often complain about problems in daily conversation. A detailed spontaneous speech analysis could provide more insight in these communicative problems; no previous studies are reported.
Objective
To select sensitive parameters in spontaneous speech pre- and post-operatively in patients with gliomas in eloquent areas.
Methods
We included 27 patients and 21 healthy controls. In addition to a naming and category fluency test, spontaneous speech was collected 1 month pre-operatively and 3 months post-operatively, and analysed with the variables: Self-corrections, Repetitions, Lexical Diversity, Incomplete Sentences and Mean Length of Utterance (MLUw). A correlation analysis was performed between the linguistic variables and tumour characteristics (grade, localisation and volume), treatment related factors, and between the linguistic variables and the language tasks.
Results
Pre-operatively, patients produced more Incomplete Sentences than the controls (p < 0.001). Post-operatively, patients’ utterance length (MLUw) (p < 0.05) was also deviant. The quality of the spontaneous speech was influenced by tumour grade and localisation. There was no influence of tumour volume or treatment-related factors. Pre- and post-operatively, patients’ performance on the naming and the fluency task deviated from normal (p < 0.001). The majority of the linguistic variables did not correlate with the language tasks, pointing to a measurement of distinct linguistic aspects.
Conclusion
Pre- and post-operatively there was a disorder in naming, category fluency and spontaneous speech, partly influenced by tumour characteristics. A spontaneous speech analysis appeared to be a valuable addition to standardised language tasks. Both measurements are important tools to obtain a complete linguistic profile.
Keywords

Category: Oncology, Outcome

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