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Journal of Neurosurgical Sciences 2005 March;49(1):13-9


lingua: Inglese

Supratentorial cavernomas in eloquent brain areas: application of neuronavigation and functional MRI in operative planning

Zotta D. 1, Di Rienzo A. 1, Scogna A. 1, Ricci A. 1, Ricci G. 1, Galzio R. J. 1, 2

1 Department of Neurosurgery San Salvatore Hospital, L’Aquila, Italy 2 Department of Surgical Sciences University School of Medicine, L’Aquila, Italy


Aim. Cavernomas located in eloquent areas of cerebral hemispheres represent a challenge for the neurosurgeon. An accurate surgical approach is essential to completely remove the lesion with function preservation.
Aim of this study was to evaluate the usefulness of integration between standard magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) for neuronavigation and functional MRI (fMRI) in preoperative planning and intraoperative removal of cavernomas.
Methods. Between June 2000 and December 2002, 21 patients underwent surgery for supratentorial subcortical cavernomas. Eleven lesions were located adjacent to eloquent brain areas. All the patients in the series underwent MRI for neuronavigation and, since January 2002, in 6 cases of lesions located in eloquent areas, fMRI was also performed, with subsequent images fusion. The surgical approach was performed via the transgyral route under conventional and ultrasound-guided neuronavigation.
Results. All the lesions were totally removed. No morbidity was seen in patients harbouring lesions in non eloquent areas. Four patients with lesions in critical areas suffered transient focal deficits, but only one patient of this series was operated on by the auxilium of image fusion. In 7 patients operated on by conventional image-guided surgery and affected by preoperative seizures, no further seizures were observed after surgery. In 3 patients more hosting lesions neighbouring critical areas, the perilesional ring was not removed, observing persistence of seizures pharmacologically treated. In 4 of the 6 patients (all affected by seizures), operated on by fMRI auxilium, lesion removal was associated to the removal of the perilesional ring. No further epilepsy was seen in these patients.
Conclusion. In all the cases the use of neuronavigation allowed minimally invasive approaches and radical excision of the lesions. Moreover, fMRI seemed to provide important additional information in patients with lesions in eloquent brain areas, allowing a more aggressive approach on the perilesional tissue to the aim of resolving seizures, in absence of an increase in the morbidity rate.

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