Triple motor mapping: transcranial, bipolar, and monopolar mapping for supratentorial glioma resection adjacent to motor pathways

J Neurosurg 134:1728–1737, 2021

Maximal safe resection of gliomas near motor pathways is facilitated by intraoperative mapping. The authors and other groups have described the use of bipolar or monopolar direct stimulation to identify functional tissue, as well as transcranial or transcortical motor evoked potentials (MEPs) to monitor motor pathways. Here, the authors describe their initial experience using all 3 modalities to identify, monitor, and preserve cortical and subcortical motor systems during glioma surgery.

METHODS Intraoperative mapping data were extracted from a prospective registry of glioma resections near motor pathways. Additional demographic, clinical, pathological, and imaging data were extracted from the electronic medical record. All patients with new or worsened postoperative motor deficits were followed for at least 6 months.

RESULTS Between January 2018 and August 2019, 59 operations were performed in 58 patients. Overall, patients in 6 cases (10.2%) had new or worse immediate postoperative deficits. Patients with temporary deficits all had at least Medical Research Council grade 4/5 power. Only 2 patients (3.4%) had permanently worsened deficits after 6 months, both of which were associated with diffusion restriction consistent with ischemia within the corticospinal tract. One patient’s deficit improved to 4/5 and the other to 4/5 proximally and 3/5 distally in the lower limb, allowing ambulation following rehabilitation. Subcortical motor pathways were identified in 51 cases (86.4%) with monopolar high-frequency stimulation, but only in 6 patients using bipolar stimulation. Transcranial or cortical MEPs were diminished in only 6 cases, 3 of which had new or worsened deficits, with 1 permanent deficit. Insula location (p = 0.001) and reduction in MEPs (p = 0.01) were the only univariate predictors of new or worsened postoperative deficits. Insula location was the only predictor of permanent deficits (p = 0.046). The median extent of resection was 98.0%.

CONCLUSIONS Asleep triple motor mapping is safe and resulted in a low rate of deficits without compromising the extent of resection.