Corpus Callosum Diffusion and Language Lateralization in Patients with Brain Tumors: A DTI and fMRI Study

J Neuroimaging. 2016 Mar-Apr;26(2):224-31. doi: 10.1111/jon.12275. Epub 2015 Aug 10.


Background and purpose: Examining how left-hemisphere brain tumors might impact both the microstructure of the corpus callosum (CC) as measured by fractional anisotropy (FA) values in diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) as well as cortical language lateralization measured with functional MRI (fMRI).

Methods: fMRI tasks (phonemic fluency and verb generation) were performed in order to detect activation in Broca's and Wernicke's area. Twenty patients with left-hemisphere brain tumors were investigated. fMRI results were divided into left dominant (LD), right dominant (RD), or codominant (CD) for language function. DTI was performed to generate FA maps in the anterior and posterior CC. FA values were correlated with the degree of language dominance.

Results: Patients who were LD or RD for language in Broca's area had lower FA in the anterior CC than those who were CD for language (median for CD = .72, LD = .66, RD = .65, P < .09). Lateralized versus CD group level analysis also showed that CD patients had higher FA in the anterior CC than patients who displayed strong lateralization in either hemisphere (median for CD = .72, lateralized = .65, P < .05).

Conclusion: Our preliminary observations indicate that the greater FA in CD patients may reflect a more directional microstructure for the CC in this region, suggesting a greater need for interhemispheric transfer of information. Because brain tumors can cause compensatory codominance, our findings may suggest a mechanism by which interhemispheric transfer is facilitated during plasticity in the presence of a tumor.

Keywords: Brain; diffusion tensor imaging (DTI); functional MRI (fMRI); language; lateralization.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Brain Mapping / methods
  • Brain Neoplasms / diagnostic imaging*
  • Brain Neoplasms / physiopathology
  • Corpus Callosum / diagnostic imaging*
  • Diffusion Tensor Imaging / methods*
  • Female
  • Functional Laterality / physiology*
  • Glioma / diagnostic imaging*
  • Glioma / physiopathology
  • Humans
  • Image Processing, Computer-Assisted
  • Language*
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging / methods*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Young Adult