Preoperative functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) of the motor system in patients with tumours in the parietal lobe

M. F. Nitschke, U. H. Melchert, C. Hahn, V. Otto, H. Arnold, H. D. Herrmann, G. Nowak, M. Westphal, K. Wessel*

*Corresponding author for this work
22 Citations (Scopus)


Intracranial lesions may compromise structures critical for motor performance, and mapping of the cortex, especially of the motor hand area, is important to reduce postoperative morbidity. We investigated nine patients with parietal lobe tumours and used functional MRI sensitized to changes in blood oxygenation to define the different motor areas, especially the primary sensorimotor cortex, in relation to the localization of the tumour. Activation was determined by pixel-by-pixel correlation of the signal intensity time course with a reference waveform equivalent to the stimulus protocol. All subjects showed significant activation of the primary sensorimotor cortex while performing a finger opposition task with the affected and unaffected side. In five patients the finger opposition task additionally activated the ipsilateral sensorimotor cortex and the supplementary motor area (SMA). Extension and flexion of the foot, additionally performed in two patients, also activated the sensorimotor cortex, in one case within the perifocal oedema of the tumour. Tumour localization near the central sulcus induced displacement of the sensorimotor cortex as compared to the unaffected side in all patients with a relevant mass effect. The results of our study demonstrate that functional MRI at 1.5 T with a clinically used tomograph can reproducibly localize critical brain regions in patients with intracranial lesions.

Original languageEnglish
JournalActa Neurochirurgica
Issue number12
Pages (from-to)1223-1229
Number of pages7
Publication statusPublished - 01.12.1998


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