Impact of awake mapping on overall survival and extent of resection in patients with adult diffuse gliomas within or near eloquent areas

Acta Neurochirurgica (2022) 164:395–404

Awake craniotomy (AC) with intraoperative mapping is the best approach to preserve neurological function for glioma surgery in eloquent or near eloquent areas, but whether AC improves the extent of resection (EOR) and overall survival (OS) is controversial. This study aimed to compare the long-term clinical outcomes of glioma resection under AC with those under general anesthesia (GA).

Methods Data of 335 patients who underwent surgery with intraoperative magnetic resonance imaging for newly diagnosed gliomas of World Health Organization (WHO) grades II-IV between 2000 and 2013 were reviewed. EOR and OS were quantitatively compared between the AC and GA groups after 1:1 propensity score matching. The two groups were matched for age, preoperative Karnofsky performance status (KPS), tumor location, and pathology.

Results After propensity score matching, 91 pairs were obtained. The median EOR was 96.1% (interquartile range [IQR] 7.3) and 97.4% (IQR 14.4) in the AC and GA groups, respectively (p = 0.31). Median KPS score 3 months after surgery was 90 (IQR 20) in both groups (p = 0.384). The median survival times were 163.3 months (95% confidence interval [CI] 77.9–248.7) and 143.5 months (95% CI 94.4–192.7) in the AC and GA groups, respectively (p = 0.585).

Conclusion Even if the glioma was within or close to the eloquent area, AC was comparable with GA in terms of EOR and OS. In case of difficulties in randomizing patients with eloquent or near eloquent glioma, our propensity score-matched analysis provides retrospective evidence that AC can obtain EOR and OS equivalent to removing glioma under GA.