Objective: Evaluation of the accuracy of preoperative localization of language-related cortex by magnetic resonance imaging-guided positron emission tomography.
Methods: Patients with gliomas in the left dominant hemisphere were examined preoperatively with magnetic resonance imaging-guided positron emission tomography and intraoperatively by electrical stimulation of cortex.
Results: A verb generation task yielded more intense and better lateralized local increases of cerebral blood flow in the positron emission tomographic examination than did a naming task. Significant correspondence of preoperative and intraoperative findings was observed for the verb generation task. Cortical sites with aphasic disturbance during electrical stimulation had a significantly higher cerebral blood flow increase during preoperative activation than did sites without intraoperative language impairment. Areas with cerebral blood flow increases above an optimum threshold had 73% sensitivity and 81% specificity to predict aphasic disturbance during intraoperative stimulation.
Conclusion: The data suggest that with further technical improvements, imaging of language function may become a preoperative diagnostic tool for patients with tumors close to language-related brain structures.