Increased functional vascular response in the region of a glioma

Jeffrey G. Ojemann, John M. Neil, Ann Mary MacLeod, Daniel L. Silbergeld, Ralph G. Dacey, Steven E. Petersen, Marcus E. Raichle

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26 Scopus citations


Functional imaging of a language task using positron emission tomography was performed as part of the preoperative assessment of a patient with a left supplementary motor area (SMA) tumor. Positron emission tomography scans were obtained during language tasks (verb generation and word reading of visually presented nouns) that normally lead to increased blood flow in the SMA relative to a control condition (visual fixation). In the patient, the normal SMA response was an order of magnitude larger in the region of the tumor. Other regions, such as left inferior frontal cortex and right cerebellum, showed equivalent activation in the patient and normal subjects. Histopathologic study revealed an anaplastic astrocytoma. Thus, this exaggerated vascular response to local neuronal activation occurred in the setting of a proliferation of glial cells. This is consistent with models of coupling of regional CBF and neuronal activity that implicate glial as the mediator between neurons and vasculature. The concept that tumoral disruption of normal vascular responses could, in some cases, potentially enhance rather than dampen the response is proposed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)148-153
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Cerebral Blood Flow and Metabolism
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 1998


  • Activation
  • Astrocytoma
  • Language
  • Positron emission tomography
  • Supplementary motor area
  • Tumor


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