Tailoring neurophysiological strategies with clinical context enhances resection and safety and expands indications in gliomas involving motor pathways

Lorenzo Bello, Marco Riva, Enrica Fava, Valentina Ferpozzi, Antonella Castellano, Fabio Raneri, Federico Pessina, Alberto Bizzi, Andrea Falini, Gabriella Cerri

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background Resection of motor pathway gliomas requires the intraoperative recognition of essential cortical-subcortical motor structures. The degree of involvement of motor structures is variable, and increases as result of treatments patients are submitted to. Intraoperative neurophysiology offers various stimulation modalities, which efficiency is based on the ability to recognize essential sites with the highest possible resolution in most clinical conditions. Two stimulation paradigms evolved for intraoperative guidance of motor tumors removal: The 60 Hz-technique [low frequency (LF)] and the pulse-technique [high frequency-(HF)], delivered by bipolar or monopolar probe respectively. Most surgical teams rely on to either of the 2 techniques. The key point is the integration of the choice of the stimulation modality with the clinical context. Methods In 591 tumors involving the corticospinal tract, the use of HF and LF was tailored to the clinical context defined by patient clinical history and tumor features (by imaging). The effect was evaluated on the feasibility of mapping, the impact on immediate and permanent morbidity, the extent of resection, and the number of patients treated. Results By integrating the choice of the probe and the stimulation protocol with patient clinical history and tumor characteristics, the best probe-frequency match was identified for the different sets of clinical conditions. This integrative approach allows increasing the extent of resection and patient functional integrity, and greatly expands the number of patients who could benefit from surgery. Conclusions The integration of stimulation modalities with clinical context enhances the extent and safety of resection and expands the population of patients who could benefit from surgical treatment.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1110-1128
Number of pages19
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - 2014


  • Brain mapping
  • Extent of resection
  • Gliomas
  • Intraoperative neurophysiology
  • Motor pathways
  • Outcome

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cancer Research
  • Oncology
  • Clinical Neurology
  • Medicine(all)


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