Clinical Resting-state fMRI in the Preoperative Setting: Are We Ready for Prime Time?

Top Magn Reson Imaging. 2016 Feb;25(1):11-8. doi: 10.1097/RMR.0000000000000075.


The purpose of this manuscript is to provide an introduction to resting-state functional magnetic resonance imaging (RS-fMRI) and to review the current application of this new and powerful technique in the preoperative setting using our institute's extensive experience. RS-fMRI has provided important insights into brain physiology and is an increasingly important tool in the clinical setting. As opposed to task-based functional MRI wherein the subject performs a task while being scanned, RS-fMRI evaluates low-frequency fluctuations in the blood oxygen level dependent (BOLD) signal while the subject is at rest. Multiple resting state networks (RSNs) have been identified, including the somatosensory, language, and visual networks, which are of primary importance for presurgical planning. Over the past 4 years, we have performed over 300 RS-fMRI examinations in the clinical setting and these have been used to localize eloquent somatosensory and language cortices before brain tumor resection. RS-fMRI is particularly useful in this setting for patients who are unable to cooperate with the task-based paradigm, such as young children or those who are sedated, paretic, or aphasic.Although RS-fMRI is still investigational, our experience indicates that this method is ready for clinical application in the presurgical setting.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Brain Mapping / methods*
  • Brain Neoplasms / diagnosis
  • Brain Neoplasms / physiopathology*
  • Brain Neoplasms / surgery*
  • Humans
  • Intraoperative Neurophysiological Monitoring / methods
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging / methods*
  • Preoperative Care / methods*
  • Rest