Network-level prediction of set-shifting deterioration after lower-grade glioma resection

J Neurosurg 137:1329–1337, 2022

The aim of this study was to predict set-shifting deterioration after resection of low-grade glioma.

METHODS The authors retrospectively analyzed a bicentric series of 102 patients who underwent surgery for low-grade glioma. The difference between the completion times of the Trail Making Test parts B and A (TMT B-A) was evaluated preoperatively and 3–4 months after surgery. High dimensionality of the information related to the surgical cavity topography was reduced to a small set of predictors in four different ways: 1) overlap between surgical cavity and each of the 122 cortical parcels composing Yeo’s 17-network parcellation of the brain; 2) Tractotron: disconnection by the cavity of the major white matter bundles; 3) overlap between the surgical cavity and each of Yeo’s networks; and 4) disconets: signature of structural disconnection by the cavity of each of Yeo’s networks. A random forest algorithm was implemented to predict the postoperative change in the TMT B-A z-score.

RESULTS The last two network-based approaches yielded significant accuracies in left-out subjects (area under the receiver operating characteristic curve [AUC] approximately equal to 0.8, p approximately equal to 0.001) and outperformed the two alternatives. In single tree hierarchical models, the degree of damage to Yeo corticocortical network 12 (CC 12) was a critical node: patients with damage to CC 12 higher than 7.5% (cortical overlap) or 7.2% (disconets) had much higher risk to deteriorate, establishing for the first time a causal link between damage to this network and impaired set-shifting.

CONCLUSIONS The authors’ results give strong support to the idea that network-level approaches are a powerful way to address the lesion-symptom mapping problem, enabling machine learning–powered individual outcome predictions.

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