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Cortical Mapping during Brain Surgery

Cortical maps identify the language, motor, and sensory areas of the cortex and are often used during brain surgery, particularly brain tumor surgery. The information obtained through electromyography (EMG), somatosensory response, and direct stimulation of the cortex, is used to create a cortical map. These maps may use texture, color, or contour to differentiate between the various functions within the cortex.

Electromyography (EMG) records the electric currents that result from muscle contractions in order to identify motor areas of the cortex and the internal capsule. Somatosensory response is recorded from the surface of the brain to determine the location of the motor areas within the cortex. And finally, language areas are identified from the verbal responses of an awake patient.

Types of Surgeries that Use Cortical Mapping

Cortical mapping is used particularly during brain tumor surgeries, as well as other forms of brain surgery that place the sensory cortex and the motor cortex, including the internal capsule and language areas of the brain, at risk.

Advantages of Cortical Mapping

There are advantages to using cortical mapping during brain surgery, as it clearly displays the language, motor, and sensory areas of the cortex, allowing the surgeon to provide the most effective treatment possible without damaging areas of the brain that are vital for language and movement.

Disadvantages of Cortical Mapping

The main disadvantage of cortical mapping during brain surgery is that although the cortical electrophysiology of a patient is being mapped, the blood flow and oxygenation being tested is taken from only a small region. Therefore, the information received is only a sample. Other forms of neural monitoring performed extraoperatively, can map blood flow, oxygenation, and electrophysiology using knowledge of neuronal activity and perfusion.

To learn more about cortical mapping used by our neural monitoring technologist s during brain surgery, contact Biotronic today.

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