Pre- and intraoperative tractographic evaluation of corticospinal tract shift

Andrea Romano, Giancarlo D'Andrea, Luigi Fausto Calabria, Valeria Coppola, Camilla Rossi Espagnet, Alberto Pierallini, Luigi Ferrante, Luigi Fantozzi, Alessandro Bozzao

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Magnetic resonance with diffusion tensor image (DTI) may be able to estimate trajectories compatible with subcortical tracts close to brain lesions. A limit of DTI is brain shifting (movement of the brain after dural opening and tumor resection). Objective: To calculate the brain shift of trajectories compatible with the corticospinal tract (CST) in patients undergoing glioma resection and predict the shift directions of CST. Methods: DTI was acquired in 20 patients and carried out through 12 noncollinear directions. Dedicated software "merged" all sequences acquired with tractographic processing and the whole dataset was sent to the neuronavigation system. Preoperative, after dural opening (in 11) and tumor resection (in all) DTI acquisitions were performed to evaluate CST shifting. The extent of shifting was considered as the maximum distance between the preoperative and intraoperative contours of the trajectories. Results: An outward shift of CST was observed in 8 patients and an inward shift in 10 patients during surgery. In the remaining 2 patients, no intraoperative displacement was detected. Only peritumoral edema showed a statistically significant correlation with the amount of shift. In those patients in which DTI was acquired after dural opening as well (11 patients), an outward shifting of CST was evident in that phase. Conclusion: The use of intraoperative DTI demonstrated brain shifting of the CST. DTI evaluation of white matter tracts can be used during surgical procedures only if updated with intraoperative acquisitions.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)696-704
Number of pages9
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Sep 2011


  • Brain shift
  • Cortical spinal tract
  • Diffusion tensor imaging
  • Dural opening
  • Presurgical planning
  • Tractography

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology
  • Surgery


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