Human brain mapping using co-registered fUS, fMRI and ESM during awake brain surgeries: A proof-of-concept study

Neuroimage. 2023 Dec 1:283:120435. doi: 10.1016/j.neuroimage.2023.120435. Epub 2023 Oct 30.


Accurate, depth-resolved functional imaging is key in both understanding and treatment of the human brain. A new sonography-based imaging technique named functional Ultrasound (fUS) uniquely combines high sensitivity with submillimeter-subsecond spatiotemporal resolution available in large fields-of-view. In this proof-of-concept study we show that: (A) fUS reveals the same eloquent regions as found by fMRI while concomitantly visualizing in-vivo microvascular morphology underlying these functional hemodynamics and (B) fUS-based functional maps are confirmed by Electrocortical Stimulation Mapping (ESM), the current gold-standard in awake neurosurgical practice. This unique cross-modality experiment was performed using motor, visual and language-related functional tasks in patients undergoing awake brain tumor resection. The current work serves as an important milestone towards further maturity of fUS as well as a novel avenue to increase our understanding of hemodynamics-based functional brain imaging.

Keywords: Awake craniotomy; Electrocortical stimulation mapping; Functional MRI; Functional Ultrasound; Functional imaging; Neurovascular coupling.

MeSH terms

  • Brain / diagnostic imaging
  • Brain / physiology
  • Brain / surgery
  • Brain Mapping / methods
  • Brain Neoplasms* / diagnostic imaging
  • Brain Neoplasms* / surgery
  • Humans
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging* / methods
  • Wakefulness / physiology