Impact of brain tumor location on morbidity and mortality: A retrospective functional MR imaging study

Joel M. Wood*, Bornali Kundu, A. Utter, T. A. Gallagher, J. Voss, V. A. Nair, J. S. Kuo, A. S. Field, C. H. Moritz, M. E. Meyerand, V. Prabhakaran

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

47 Scopus citations


BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE: fMRI is increasingly used in neurosurgery to preoperatively identify areas of eloquent cortex. Our study evaluated the efficacy of clinical fMRI by analyzing the relationship between the distance from the tumor border to the area of functional activation (LAD) and patient preand postoperative morbidity and mortality. MATERIALS AND METHODS: The study included patients with diagnosis of primary or metastatic brain tumor who underwent preoperative fMRI-based motor mapping (n = 74) and/or language mapping (n = 77). The impact of LAD and other variables collected from patient records was analyzed with respect to functional deficits in terms of morbidity (paresis and aphasia) and mortality. RESULTS: Significant relationships were found between motor and language LAD and the existence of either pre- or postoperative motor (P < .001) and language deficits (P = .009). Increasing age was associated with motor and language deficits (P = .02 and P = .04 respectively). Right-handedness was related to language deficits (P = .05). Survival analysis revealed that pre- and postoperative deficits, grade, tumor location, and LAD predicted mortality. Motor deficits increased linearly as the distance from the tumor to the primary sensorimotor cortex decreased. Language deficits increased exponentially as the distance from the tumor to the language areas decreased below 1 cm. Postoperative mortality analysis showed an interaction effect between motor or language LAD and mortality predictors (grade and tumor location, respectively). CONCLUSIONS: These findings indicate that tumors may affect language and motor function differently depending on tumor LAD. Overall, the data support the use of fMRI as a tool to evaluate patient prognosis and are directly applicable to neurosurgical planning.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1420-1425
Number of pages6
JournalAmerican Journal of Neuroradiology
Issue number8
StatePublished - Sep 2011

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology
  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging


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