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      Resection of Gliomas with and without Neuropsychological Support during Awake Craniotomy—Effects on Surgery and Clinical Outcome

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          During awake craniotomy for tumor resection, a neuropsychologist (NP) is regarded as a highly valuable partner for neurosurgeons. However, some centers do not routinely involve an NP, and data to support the high influence of the NP on the perioperative course of patients are mostly lacking.


          The aim of this study was to investigate whether there is a difference in clinical outcomes between patients who underwent awake craniotomy with and without the attendance of an NP.


          Our analysis included 61 patients, all operated on for resection of a presumably language-eloquent glioma during an awake procedure. Of these 61 cases, 47 surgeries were done with neuropsychological support (NP group), whereas 14 surgeries were performed without an NP (non-NP group) due to a language barrier between the NP and the patient. For these patients, neuropsychological assessment was provided by a bilingual resident.


          Both groups were highly comparable regarding age, gender, preoperative language function, and tumor grades (glioma WHO grades 1–4). Gross total resection (GTR) was achieved more frequently in the NP group (NP vs. non-NP: 61.7 vs. 28.6%, P = 0.04), which also had shorter durations of surgery (NP vs. non-NP: 240.7 ± 45.7 vs. 286.6 ± 54.8 min, P < 0.01). Furthermore, the rate of unexpected tumor residuals (estimation of the intraoperative extent of resection vs. postoperative imaging) was lower in the NP group (NP vs. non-NP: 19.1 vs. 42.9%, P = 0.09), but no difference was observed in terms of permanent surgery-related language deterioration (NP vs. non-NP: 6.4 vs. 14.3%, P = 0.48).


          We need professional neuropsychological evaluation during awake craniotomies for removal of presumably language-eloquent gliomas. Although these procedures are routinely carried out with an NP, this is one of the first studies to provide data supporting the NP’s crucial role. Despite the small group size, our study shows statistically significant results, with higher rates of GTR and shorter durations of surgery among patients of the NP group. Moreover, our data emphasize the common problem of language barriers between the surgical and neuropsychological team and patients requiring awake tumor resection.

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          Most cited references 42

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          Functional outcome after language mapping for glioma resection.

          Language sites in the cortex of the brain vary among patients. Language mapping while the patient is awake is an intraoperative technique designed to minimize language deficits associated with brain-tumor resection. To study language function after brain-tumor resection with language mapping, we examined 250 consecutive patients with gliomas. Positive language sites (i.e., language regions in the cortex of the brain, 1 cm by 1 cm, which were temporarily inactivated by means of a bipolar electrode) were identified and categorized into cortical language maps. The tumors were resected up to 1 cm from the cortical areas where intraoperative stimulation produced a disturbance in language. Our resection strategy did not require identification of the stimulation-induced language sites within the field of exposure. A total of 145 of the 250 patients (58.0%) had at least one site with an intraoperative stimulation-induced speech arrest, 82 patients had anomia, and 23 patients had alexia. Overall, 3094 of 3281 cortical sites (94.3%) were not associated with stimulation-induced language deficits. A total of 159 patients (63.6%) had intact speech preoperatively. One week after surgery, baseline language function remained in 194 patients (77.6%), it worsened in 21 patients (8.4%), and 35 patients (14.0%) had new speech deficits. However, 6 months after surgery, only 4 of 243 surviving patients (1.6%) had a persistent language deficit. Cortical maps generated with intraoperative language data also showed surprising variability in language localization within the dominant hemisphere. Craniotomies tailored to limit cortical exposure, even without localization of positive language sites, permit most gliomas to be aggressively resected without language deficits. The composite language maps generated in our study suggest that our current models of human language organization insufficiently account for observed language function. Copyright 2008 Massachusetts Medical Society.
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            Impact of intraoperative stimulation brain mapping on glioma surgery outcome: a meta-analysis.

            Surgery for infiltrative gliomas aims to balance tumor removal with preservation of functional integrity. The usefulness of intraoperative stimulation mapping (ISM) has not been addressed in randomized trials. This study addresses glioma surgery outcome on the basis of a meta-analysis of observational studies. A systematic search retrieved 90 reports published between 1990 and 2010 with 8,091 adult patients who had resective surgery for supratentorial infiltrative glioma, with or without ISM. Quality criteria consisted of postoperative neurologic examination details and follow-up timing. New postoperative neurologic deficits were categorized on the basis of timing and severity. Meta-analysis with a Bayesian random effects model determined summary event rates of deficits as well as gross total resection rate and eloquent locations. Meta-regression analysis explored heterogeneity among studies. Late severe neurologic deficits were observed in 3.4% (95% CI, 2.3% to 4.8%) of patients after resections with ISM, and in 8.2% (95% CI, 5.7% to 11.4%) of patients after resections without ISM (adjusted odds ratio, 0.39; 95% CI, 0.23 to 0.64). The percentages of radiologically confirmed gross total resections were 75% (95% CI, 66% to 82%) with ISM and 58% (95% CI, 48% to 69%) without ISM. Eloquent locations were involved in 99.9% (95% CI, 99.9% to 100%) of resections with ISM and in 95.8% (95% CI, 73.1% to 99.8%) of resections without ISM. Relevant sources of heterogeneity among studies were ISM, continent, and academic setting. Glioma resections using ISM are associated with fewer late severe neurologic deficits and more extensive resection, and they involve eloquent locations more frequently. This indicates that ISM should be universally implemented as standard of care for glioma surgery.
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              Spontaneous and therapeutic prognostic factors in adult hemispheric World Health Organization Grade II gliomas: a series of 1097 cases: clinical article.

              The spontaneous prognostic factors and optimal therapeutic strategy for WHO Grade II gliomas (GIIGs) have yet to be unanimously defined. Specifically, the role of resection is still debated, most notably because the actual amount of resection has seldom been assessed.

                Author and article information

                Front Oncol
                Front Oncol
                Front. Oncol.
                Frontiers in Oncology
                Frontiers Media S.A.
                18 August 2017
                : 7
                1Department of Neurosurgery, Klinikum rechts der Isar, Technische Universität München , Munich, Germany
                2TUM-Neuroimaging Center, Klinikum rechts der Isar, Technische Universität München , Munich, Germany
                Author notes

                Edited by: Johan Pallud, University Paris-Descartes, France

                Reviewed by: Santiago Gil Robles, Hospital Quiron Madrid, Spain; David D. Eisenstat, University of Alberta, Canada; Nader Sanai, Barrow Neurological Institute, United States

                *Correspondence: Sandro M. Krieg, sandro.krieg@

                These authors have contributed equally to this work.

                Specialty section: This article was submitted to Neuro-Oncology and Neurosurgical Oncology, a section of the journal Frontiers in Oncology

                Copyright © 2017 Kelm, Sollmann, Ille, Meyer, Ringel and Krieg.

                This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY). The use, distribution or reproduction in other forums is permitted, provided the original author(s) or licensor are credited and that the original publication in this journal is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms.

                Page count
                Figures: 3, Tables: 2, Equations: 0, References: 42, Pages: 8, Words: 6137
                Original Research


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