Integration of diffusion tensor-based arcuate fasciculus fibre navigation and intraoperative MRI into glioma surgery

Yan Zhao, Xiaolei Chen, Fei Wang, Guochen Sun, Yubo Wang, Zhijun Song, Bainan Xu
Journal of Clinical Neuroscience: Official Journal of the Neurosurgical Society of Australasia 2012, 19 (2): 255-61
This study was designed to evaluate the feasibility and efficacy of diffusion tensor-based arcuate fasciculus (AF) fibre navigation in combination with 1.5-Tesla (1.5-T) intraoperative MRI (iMRI) for the resection of gliomas involving eloquent language fibre tracts (AF tracts). Twenty patients with AF tract-involved gliomas in the dominant hemisphere were prospectively enrolled. The patients were divided into two groups. The normal group included nine patients with preoperative intact language function, while the aphasia group consisted of 11 patients who presented with different levels of conduction aphasia. The AF tractography results were integrated into three-dimensional (3D) datasets used for neuronavigation, and their course was superimposed onto the surgical field during glioma resection. The iMRI was used to compensate for the effects of brain shift and to evaluate the extent of resection. Fibre tract visualisation provided a quick and intuitive overview of the displaced course of the AF in 3D space and the surgical field under a microscope. At a 3-month to 6-month follow-up, only two patients from the normal group suffered exacerbated language deficits due to tumour recurrence. Meanwhile, language function in all patients in the aphasia group had improved. Therefore, AF neuronavigation, combined with 1.5 T iMRI, is a feasible method of maximising resection and minimising language deficits when removing gliomas that involve the AF.

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