Asleep or awake motor mapping for resection of perirolandic glioma in the nondominant hemisphere?

J Neurosurg 136:16–29, 2022

Resection of glioma in the nondominant hemisphere involving the motor areas and pathways requires the use of brain-mapping techniques to spare essential sites subserving motor control. No clear indications are available for performing motor mapping under either awake or asleep conditions or for the best mapping paradigm (e.g., resting or active, high-frequency [HF] or low-frequency [LF] stimulation) that provides the best oncological and functional outcomes when tailored to the clinical context. This work aimed to identify clinical and imaging factors that influence surgical strategy (asleep motor mapping vs awake motor mapping) and that are associated with the best functional and oncological outcomes and to design a “motor mapping score” for guiding tumor resection in this area.

METHODS The authors evaluated a retrospective series of patients with nondominant-hemisphere glioma—located or infiltrating within 2 cm anteriorly or posteriorly to the central sulcus and affecting the primary motor cortex, its fibers, and/ or the praxis network—who underwent operations with asleep (HF monopolar probe) or awake (LF and HF probes) motor mapping. Clinical and imaging variables were used to design a motor mapping score. A prospective series of patients was used to validate this motor mapping score.

RESULTS One hundred thirty-five patients were retrospectively analyzed: 69 underwent operations with asleep (HF stimulation) motor mapping, and 66 underwent awake (LF and HF stimulation and praxis task evaluation) motor mapping. Previous motor (strength) deficit, previous treatment (surgery/radiotherapy), tumor volume > 30 cm3, and tumor involvement of the praxis network (on MRI) were identified and used to design the mapping score. Motor deficit, previous treatment, and location within or close to the central sulcus favor use of asleep motor mapping; large tumor volume and involvement of the praxis network favor use of awake motor mapping. The motor mapping score was validated in a prospective series of 52 patients—35 underwent operations with awake motor mapping and 17 with asleep motor mapping on the basis of the score indications—who had a low rate of postoperative motor-praxis deficit (3%) and a high extent of resection (median 97%; complete resection in > 70% of patients).

CONCLUSIONS Extensive resection of tumor involving the eloquent areas for motor control is feasible, and when an appropriate mapping strategy is applied, the incidence of postoperative motor-praxis deficit is low. Asleep (HF stimulation) motor mapping is preferable for lesions close to or involving the central sulcus and/or in patients with preoperative strength deficit and/or history of previous treatment. When a patient has no motor deficit or previous treatment and has a lesion (> 30 cm3) involving the praxis network, awake mapping is preferable.

Resection of tumors within the primary motor cortex using high-frequency stimulation

J Neurosurg 133:642–654, 2020

Brain mapping techniques allow one to effectively approach tumors involving the primary motor cortex (M1). Tumor resectability and maintenance of patient integrity depend on the ability to successfully identify motor tracts during resection by choosing the most appropriate neurophysiological paradigm for motor mapping. Mapping with a highfrequency (HF) stimulation technique has emerged as the most efficient tool to identify motor tracts because of its versatility in different clinical settings. At present, few data are available on the use of HF for removal of tumors predominantly involving M1.

METHODS The authors retrospectively analyzed a series of 102 patients with brain tumors within M1, by reviewing the use of HF as a guide. The neurophysiological protocols adopted during resections were described and correlated with patients’ clinical and tumor imaging features. Feasibility of mapping, extent of resection, and motor function assessment were used to evaluate the oncological and functional outcome to be correlated with the selected neurophysiological parameters used for guiding resection. The study aimed to define the most efficient protocol to guide resection for each clinical condition.

RESULTS The data confirmed HF as an efficient tool for guiding resection of M1 tumors, affording 85.3% complete resection and only 2% permanent morbidity. HF was highly versatile, adapting the stimulation paradigm and the probe to the clinical context. Three approaches were used. The first was a “standard approach” (HF “train of 5,” using a monopolar probe) applied in 51 patients with no motor deficit and seizure control, harboring a well-defined tumor, showing contrast enhancement in most cases, and reaching the M1 surface. Complete resection was achieved in 72.5%, and 2% had permanent morbidity. The second approach was an “increased train approach,” that is, an increase in the number of pulses (7–9) and of pulse duration, using a monopolar probe. This second approach was applied in 8 patients with a long clinical history, previous treatment (surgery, radiation therapy, chemotherapy), motor deficit at admission, poor seizure control, and mostly high-grade gliomas or metastases. Complete resection was achieved in 87.5% using this approach, along with 0% permanent morbidity. The final approach was a “reduced train approach,” which was the combined use of train of 2 or train of 1 pulses associated with the standard approach, using a monopolar or bipolar probe. This approach was used in 43 patients with a long clinical history and poorly controlled seizures, harboring tumors with irregular borders without contrast enhancement (low or lower grade), possibly not reaching the cortical surface. Complete resection was attained in 88.4%, and permanent morbidity was found in 2.3%.

CONCLUSIONS Resection of M1 tumors is feasible and safe. By adapting the stimulation paradigm and probe appropriately to the clinical context, the best resection and functional results can be achieved.