BACKGROUND: Despite intraoperative technical improvements, the insula remains a challenging area for surgery because of its critical relationships with vascular and neurophysiological functional structures. OBJECTIVE: To retrospectively investigate the morbidity profile in insular nonenhancing gliomas, with special emphasis on volumetric analysis of tumoral resection. METHODS: From 2000 to 2010, 66 patients underwent surgery. All surgical procedures were conducted under cortical-subcortical stimulation and neurophysiological monitoring. Volumetric scan analysis was applied on T2-weighted magnetic resonance images (MRIs) to establish preoperative and postoperative tumoral volume. RESULTS: The median preoperative tumor volume was 108 cm. The median extent of resection was 80%. The median follow-up was 4.3 years. An immediate postoperative worsening was detected in 33.4% of cases; a definitive worsening resulted in 6% of cases. Patients with extent of resection of > 90% had an estimated 5-year overall survival rate of 92%, whereas those with extent of resection between 70% and 90% had a 5-year overall survival rate of 82% (P <.001). The difference between preoperative tumoral volumes on T2-weighted MRI and on postcontrast T1-weighted MRI ([T2-T1] MRI volume) was computed to evaluate the role of the diffusive tumoral growing pattern on overall survival. Patients with preoperative volumetric difference < 30 cm demonstrated a 5-year overall survival rate of 92%, whereas those with a difference of > 30 cm had a 5-year overall survival rate of 57% (P =.02). CONCLUSION: With intraoperative cortico-subcortical mapping and neurophysiological monitoring, a major resection is possible with an acceptable risk and a significant result in the follow-up. Copyright © 2011 by the Congress of Neurological Surgeons.
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