Objective: The purpose of this study was to determine the usefulness of functional magnetic resonance imaging (FMRI) to map cerebral functions in patients with frontal or parietal tumors.
Methods: Charts and images of patients with cerebral tumors or vascular malformations who underwent FMRI with an echoplanar technique were reviewed. The FMRI maps of motor (11 patients), tactile sensory (12 patients), and language tasks (4 patients) were obtained. The location of the FMRI activation and the positive responses to intraoperative cortical stimulation were compared. The reliability of the paradigms for mapping the rolandic cortex was evaluated.
Results: Rolandic cortex was activated by tactile tasks in all 12 patients and by motor tasks in 10 of 11 patients. Language tasks elicited activation in each of the four patients. Activation was obtained within edematous brain and adjacent to tumors. FMRI in three cases with intraoperative electrocortical mapping results showed activation for a language, tactile, or motor task within the same gyrus in which stimulation elicited a related motor, sensory, or language function. In patients with > 2 cm between the margin of the tumor, as revealed by magnetic resonance imaging, and the activation, no decline in motor function occurred from surgical resection.
Conclusions: FMRI of tactile, motor, and language tasks is feasible in patients with cerebral tumors. FMRI shows promise as a means of determining the risk of a postoperative motor deficit from surgical resection of frontal or parietal tumors.