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Tractography Verified by Intraoperative Magnetic Resonance Imaging and Subcortical Stimulation During Tumor Resection Near the Corticospinal Tract

: Münnich, T.; Klein, J.; Hattingen, E.; Noack, A.; Herrmann, E.; Seifert, V.; Senft, C.; Forster, M.T.


Operative neurosurgery 16 (2019), Nr.2, S.197-210
ISSN: 2332-4260
ISSN: 2332-4252
Fraunhofer MEVIS ()

Background: Tractography is a popular tool for visualizing the corticospinal tract (CST). However, results may be influenced by numerous variables, eg, the selection of seeding regions of interests (ROIs) or the chosen tracking algorithm. Objective: To compare different variable sets by correlating tractography results with intraoperative subcortical stimulation of the CST, correcting intraoperative brain shift by the use of intraoperative MRI. Methods: Seeding ROIs were created by means of motor cortex segmentation, functional MRI (fMRI), and navigated transcranial magnetic stimulation (nTMS). Based on these ROIs, tractography was run for each patient using a deterministic and a probabilistic algorithm. Tractographies were processed on pre- and postoperatively acquired data. Results: Using a linear mixed effects statistical model, best correlation between subcortical stimulation intensity and the distance between tractography and stimulation sites was achieved by using the segmented motor cortex as seeding ROI and applying the probabilistic algorithm on preoperatively acquired imaging sequences. Tractographies based on fMRI or nTMS results differed very little, but with enlargement of positive nTMS sites the stimulation-distance correlation of nTMS-based tractography improved. Conclusion: Our results underline that the use of tractography demands for careful interpretation of its virtual results by considering all influencing variables.