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Neuroradiology. 2002 Jun;44(6):467-74. Epub 2002 May 8.

Determination of hemisphere dominance for language: comparison of frontal and temporal fMRI activation with intracarotid amytal testing.

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Section of Neuroradiology, Neurozentrum, University of Freiburg, Breisgauer Strasse 64, 79106 Freiburg, Germany.


The reliability of frontal and temporal fMRI activations for the determination of hemisphere language dominance was evaluated in comparison with intracarotid amytal testing (IAT). Twenty-two patients were studied by IAT (bilateral in 13, unilateral in 9 patients) and fMRI using a paradigm requiring semantic decisions. Global and regional (frontal and temporoparietal) lateralisation indices (LI) were calculated from the number of activated (r>0.4) voxels in both hemispheres. Frontolateral activations associated with the language task were seen in all patients, temporoparietal activations in 20 of 22. Regional LI corresponded better with IAT results than global LI. Frontolateral LI were consistent with IAT in all patients with bilateral IAT (including three patients with right dominant and one patient with bilateral language representation) and were not conflicting in any of the patients with unilateral IAT. Temporoparietal LI were discordant with IAT in two patients with atypical language representation. In the determination of hemisphere dominance for language, regional analysis of fMRI activation is superior to global analysis. In cases with clear-cut fMRI lateralisation, i.e. consistent lateralised activation of frontal and temporoparietal language zones, IAT may be unnecessary. FMRI should be performed prior to IAT in all patients going to be operated in brain regions potentially involved in language.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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