Purpose: To prospectively evaluate the effect of preoperative functional magnetic resonance (MR) imaging localization of language and motor areas on therapeutic decision making in patients with potentially resectable brain tumors.
Materials and methods: The Institutional Review Board approved this HIPAA-compliant study, and each patient gave written informed consent. Thirty-nine consecutive patients (19 male, 20 female; mean age, 42.2 years) referred for functional MR imaging for possible tumor resection were prospectively evaluated. A preoperative diagnosis of brain tumor was made in all patients. Sentence completion and bilateral hand squeeze tasks were used to map language and sensory motor areas. Neurosurgeons completed questionnaires regarding the proposed treatment plan before and after functional MR imaging and after surgery. They also gave confidence ratings for functional MR imaging results and estimated the effect on surgical time, extent of resection, and surgical approach. The effect of functional MR imaging on changes in treatment plan was assessed with the Wilcoxon signed rank test. Differences in confidence ratings between altered and unaltered treatment plans were assessed with the Mann-Whitney U test. The estimated influence of functional MR imaging on surgical time, extent of resection, and surgical approach was denoted with summary statistics.
Results: Treatment plans before and after functional MR imaging differed in 19 patients (P < .05), with a more aggressive approach recommended after imaging in 18 patients. There were no significant differences in confidence ratings for functional MR imaging between altered and unaltered plans. Functional MR imaging resulted in reduced surgical time (estimated reduction, 15-60 minutes) in 22 patients who underwent surgery, a more aggressive resection in six, and a smaller craniotomy in two.
Conclusion: Functional MR imaging enables the selection of a more aggressive therapeutic approach than might otherwise be considered because of functional risk. In certain patients, surgical time may be shortened, the extent of resection increased, and craniotomy size decreased.
(c) RSNA, 2006.