Functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) has been mainly utilized for the preoperative localization of eloquent cortical areas. However, lesion-induced impairment of neurovascular coupling (NVC) in the lesion border zone may lead to false-negative fMRI results. The purpose of this study was to determine physiological factors impacting the NVC. Twenty patients suffering from brain lesions were preoperatively examined using multimodal neuroimaging including fMRI, magnetoencephalography (MEG) during language or sensorimotor tasks (depending on lesion location), and a novel physiologic MRI approach for the combined quantification of oxygen metabolism, perfusion state, and microvascular architecture. Congruence of brain activity patterns between fMRI and MEG were found in 13 patients. In contrast, we observed missing fMRI activity in perilesional cortex that demonstrated MEG activity in seven patients, which was interpreted as lesion-induced impairment of NVC. In these brain regions with impaired NVC, physiologic MRI revealed significant brain tissue hypoxia, as well as significantly decreased macro- and microvascular perfusion and microvascular architecture. We demonstrated that perilesional hypoxia with reduced vascular perfusion and architecture is associated with lesion-induced impairment of NVC. Our physiologic MRI approach is a clinically applicable method for preoperative risk assessment for the presence of false-negative fMRI results and may prevent severe postoperative functional deficits.
- Brain Neoplasms/diagnostic imaging
- Microvessels/diagnostic imaging
- Middle Aged
- Multimodal Imaging
- Neurovascular Coupling/physiology