Send to

Choose Destination
Neurosurgery. 2007 Jul;61(1 Suppl):166-76; discussion 176-7. doi: 10.1227/01.neu.0000279213.23010.cb.

Functional identification of the primary motor area by corticospinal tractography.

Author information

Department of Neurosurgery, University of Tokyo, Hongo 7-3-1, Tokyo, Japan.



For quick and stable identification of the primary motor area (PMA), diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) data were acquired and corticospinal tractography was mathematically visualized.


Data sets of DTI, anatomic magnetic resonance imaging, and functional magnetic resonance imaging with finger-tapping tasks were acquired during the same investigation in 30 patients with a brain lesion affecting the motor system. Off-line processing of DTI data was performed to visualize the corticospinal tract, placing a seed area in the cerebral peduncle of the midbrain, where the corticospinal tract is densely concentrated. Somatosensory evoked magnetic fields and intraoperative cortical somatosensory evoked potentials were recorded with electrical stimulation of the median nerve to confirm the results of the corticospinal tractography.


Functional magnetic resonance imaging and somatosensory evoked magnetic fields failed to identify the PMA in eight patients (16.7%) and one patient (3.8%) investigated, respectively, because of cortical dysfunctions caused by brain lesions. DTI data were acquired within 3 minutes without patient tasks. Using the appropriate seed area and fractional anisotropy, corticospinal tractography successfully indicated the PMA location in all patients. The suspected PMA and central sulcus locations were confirmed by the cortical somatosensory evoked potentials.


Corticospinal tractography enables identification of the PMA and is beneficial, particularly for patients who present with dysfunction of the PMA.

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Silverchair Information Systems
Loading ...
Support Center