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Magnetoencephalographic representation of the sensorimotor hand area in cases of intracerebral tumour
  1. M Oishi1,
  2. M Fukuda2,
  3. S Kameyama1,
  4. T Kawaguchi2,
  5. H Masuda1,
  6. R Tanaka2
  1. 1Department of Neurosurgery, National Nishi-Niigata Central Hospital, Niigata, Japan
  2. 2Department of Neurosurgery, Brain Research Institute, Niigata University
  1. Correspondence to:
 Dr M Oishi
 Department of Neurosurgery, National Nishi-Niigata Central Hospital, 1-14-1 Masago, Niigata 950-2085, Japan;


Objective: To assess the clinical value of magnetoencephalography (MEG) in localising the primary hand motor area and evaluating cortical distortion of the sensorimotor cortices in patients with intracerebral tumour.

Methods: 10 normal volunteers (controls) and 14 patients with an intracerebral tumour located around the central region were studied. Somatosensory evoked magnetic fields (SEFs) following median nerve stimulation, and movement related cerebral magnetic fields (MRCFs) following index finger extension, were measured in all subjects and analysed by the equivalent current dipole (ECD) method to ascertain the neuronal sources of the primary sensory and motor components (N20m and MF, respectively). These ECD locations were defined as the primary hand sensory and motor areas and the positional relations between these two functional areas in controls and patients were investigated.

Results: The standard range of ECD locations of MF to N20m was determined in controls. In 11 of the 14 patients, MRCFs could identify the primary motor hand area. ECD locations of MF were significantly closer to the N20m in the medial-lateral direction in patients than in controls. In patients with a tumour located below the sensorimotor hand area, relative ECD locations of MF to N20m moved anteriorly over the standard range determined in the control subjects. These MEG findings correlated well with radiological tumour locations. The mean estimated ECD strength of MF was significantly lower in patients than in controls.

Conclusions: MRCF was useful in localising the primary motor hand area in patients with intracerebral tumour. The relative ECD locations of MF to N20m describe the anatomical distortion of the sensorimotor cortex.

  • magnetoencephalography
  • sensorimotor cortex
  • presurgical functional mapping
  • brain tumour
  • ECD, equivalent current dipole
  • MEG, magnetoencephalography
  • MRCF, movement related cerebral magnetic field
  • SEF, somatosensory evoked magnetic field

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  • Competing interests: none declared