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Comput Aided Surg. 2002;7(6):317-25.

Comparison of functional brain PET images and intraoperative brain-mapping data using image-guided surgery.

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  • 1Department of Neurosurgery, University Hospital Carl Gustav Carus, Technical University of Dresden, Dresden, Germany.



Knowledge about the spatial localization of eloquent brain areas is essential for resecting lesions in the vicinity of these areas. The classical approach is to perform surgery on the awake patient under local anesthesia using brain-mapping techniques. As an alternative, the location of eloquent areas can be visualized by preoperative functional brain-imaging techniques, for example, positron emission tomography (PET), functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), or magnetoencephalography (MEG). Using functional activation PET, both methods were combined by integration into a frameless navigation system (BrainLAB) and used to map speech-eloquent areas.


Speech-eloquent areas were localized preoperatively in seven patients with a left-sided glioma using 2-[(18)F]-2-desoxy-D-glucose PET. Patients were scanned under silence conditions (i.e., with the patient remaining silent in a sound-proof cabin), and speech was activated using a verb-generation paradigm. The PET data were transferred to the neuronavigation workstation and matched with a preoperative 3D-MRI using an automatic image-fusion algorithm. Intraoperative speech localization was performed using brain-mapping techniques under local anesthesia with bipolar cortical stimulation. The stimulator position was mapped into the MRI/PET data set by neuronavigational tracking of the instrument.


Functional PET images were integrated into the MRI-based neuronavigational system and could be transferred exactly to the operative field. By the additional integration of cortical stimulation, intraoperative electrophysiological findings can be directly compared with preoperative functional images. Seven patients with left-sided glioma were operated on using this protocol, confirming the technical feasibility. In three of seven patients, preoperative PET findings were not supported by intraoperative mapping.


This matching and mapping technique is suitable for monitoring eloquent speech areas during surgical resection of extensive left-sided low-grade gliomas, allowing a direct comparison between intraoperative electrophysiological brain mapping and preoperative functional brain-imaging findings. The sensitivity and specificity of functional imaging techniques can now be evaluated by reconciling the data with the intraoperative stimulation results.

Copyright 2003 Wiley-Liss, Inc.

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