Objective: Resting-state functional MRI (rs-fMRI) has been used to evaluate brain network connectivity as a result of intracranial surgery but has not been used to compare different neurosurgical procedures. Laser interstitial thermal therapy (LITT) is an alternative to conventional craniotomy for the treatment of brain lesions such as tumors and epileptogenic foci. While LITT is thought of as minimally invasive, its effect on the functional organization of the brain is still under active investigation and its impact on network changes compared to conventional craniotomy has not yet been explored. We describe a novel computational method for quantifying and comparing the impact of two neurosurgical procedures on brain functional connectivity. Methods: We used a previously described seed-based correlation analysis to generate resting-state network (RSN) correlation matrices, and compared changes in correlation patterns within and across RSNs between LITT and conventional craniotomy for treatment of 24 patients with singular intracranial tumors at our institution between 2014 and 2017. Specifically, we analyzed the differences in patient-specific changes in the within-hemisphere correlation patterns of the contralesional hemisphere. Results: In a post-operative follow-up period up to 2 years within-hemisphere connectivity of the contralesional hemisphere after surgery was more highly correlated to the pre-operative state in LITT patients when compared to craniotomy patients (P = 0.0287). Moreover, 4 out of 11 individual RSNs demonstrated significantly higher degrees of correlation between pre-operative and post-operative network connectivity in patients who underwent LITT (all P < 0.05). Conclusion: Rs-fMRI may be used as a quantitative metric to determine the impact of different neurosurgical procedures on brain functional connectivity. Global and individual network connectivity in the contralesional hemisphere may be more highly preserved after LITT when compared to craniotomy for the treatment of brain tumors.
- brain neoplasms/diagnostic imaging
- brain neoplasms/surgery
- functional neuroimaging
- laser therapy
- magnetic resonance imaging