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Zentralbl Neurochir. 2006 Aug;67(3):117-22.

Electrophysiological proof of diffusion-weighted imaging-derived depiction of the deep-seated pyramidal tract in human.

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Department of Neurosurgery, University Hospital of the Aachen University (RWTH), Aachen, Germany.


In the living human brain the pyramidal tract (PT) can be displayed with magnetic resonance diffusion-weighted imaging (DWI). Although this imaging technique is already being used for planning and performing neurosurgical procedures in the PT vicinity, there is a lack of verification of DWI accuracy in other areas outside the directly subcortical PT parts. Before definitive electrode placement into the subthalamic nucleus (STN) in patients with Parkinson disease (PD) for chronic stimulation, the stimulation effect on PD symptoms and the side-effects, namely PT activation at the level of the internal capsule (IC), are electrophysiologically tested. To analyze DWI accuracy by matching the stereotactic coordinates of the electrophysiologically proven IC position with these of the DWI-derived IC display, DWI was added to the routine MRI work-up in the stereotactic frame prior to functional surgery in 6 patients. In all of the 10 displayed fiber tracts, concordant findings for imaging and macrostimulation were made. The authors proved for the first time that DWI correctly depicts the deep seated, principle motor pathways in the living human brain. Due to methodical limitations of this study the accuracy of the proven IC display is limited to 3 mm which has proven to be sufficient for the planning and performance of neurosurgical procedures in the vicinity of large fiber tracts.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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