Functional MRI for Surgery of Gliomas

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Purpose of Review: Advanced neuroimaging techniques such as functional MRI (fMRI) and diffusion MR tractography have been increasingly used at every stage of the surgical management of brain gliomas, as a means to improve tumor resection while preserving brain functions. This review provides an overview of the last advancements in the field of functional MRI techniques, with a particular focus on their current clinical use and reliability in the preoperative and intraoperative setting, as well as their future perspectives for personalized multimodal management of patients with gliomas. Recent Findings: fMRI and diffusion MR tractography give relevant insights on the anatomo-functional organization of eloquent cortical areas and subcortical connections near or inside a tumor. Task-based fMRI and diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) tractography have proven to be valid and highly sensitive tools for localizing the distinct eloquent cortical and subcortical areas before surgery in glioma patients; they also show good accuracy when compared with intraoperative stimulation mapping data. Resting-state fMRI functional connectivity as well as new advanced HARDI (high angular resolution diffusion imaging) tractography methods are improving and reshaping the role of functional MRI for surgery of gliomas, with potential benefit for personalized treatment strategies. Summary: Noninvasive functional MRI techniques may offer the opportunity to perform a multimodal assessment in brain tumors, to be integrated with intraoperative mapping and clinical data for improving surgical management and oncological and functional outcome in patients affected by gliomas. © 2017, Springer Science+Business Media, LLC.
Original languageEnglish
Article number34
JournalCurrent Treatment Options in Neurology
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - 2017


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