OBJECTIVE: To evaluate the accuracy and usefulness of this DT imaging-based fiber tracking for surgery in patients with gliomas near the pyramidal tract (PT).
METHODS: Subjects comprised 32 patients with gliomas near the PT. DT imaging-based fiber tracks of the PT were generated before and within 3 days after surgery in all patients. A tractography-integrated navigation system was used during the operation. Cortical and subcortical motor-evoked potentials (MEPs) were also monitored during resection to maximize preservation of motor function. The threshold intensity for subcortical MEPs was examined by searching the stimulus points and changing the stimulus intensity. Minimum distance between the resection border and the illustrated PT was measured on postoperative tractography.
RESULTS: In all subjects, DT imaging-based tractography of the PT was successfully performed, preoperatively demonstrating the relationship between tumors and the PT. Using the tractography-integrated navigation system and intraoperative MEPs, motor function was preserved postoperatively in all patients. A significant correlation was seen between threshold intensity for subcortical MEPs and the distance between the resection border and PT on postoperative DT imaging.
CONCLUSION: DT imaging-based fiber tracking is a reliable and accurate method for mapping the course of subcortical PTs. Fiber tracking and intraoperative MEPs were useful for preserving motor function in patients with gliomas near the PT.