Right Brodmann area 18 predicts tremor arrest after Vim radiosurgery: a voxel-based morphometry study
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Drug-resistant essential tremor (ET) can benefit from open standard stereotactic procedures, such as deep-brain stimulation or radiofrequency thalamotomy. Non-surgical candidates can be offered either high-focused ultrasound (HIFU) or radiosurgery (RS). All procedures aim to target the same thalamic site, the ventro-intermediate nucleus (e.g., Vim). The mechanisms by which tremor stops after Vim RS or HIFU remain unknown. We used voxel-based morphometry (VBM) on pretherapeutic neuroimaging data and assessed which anatomical site would best correlate with tremor arrest 1 year after Vim RS.
Fifty-two patients (30 male, 22 female; mean age 71.6 years, range 49–82) with right-sided ET benefited from left unilateral Vim RS in Marseille, France. Targeting was performed in a uniform manner, using 130 Gy and a single 4-mm collimator. Neurological (pretherapeutic and 1 year after) and neuroimaging (baseline) assessments were completed. Tremor score on the treated hand (TSTH) at 1 year after Vim RS was included in a statistical parametric mapping analysis of variance (ANOVA) model as a continuous variable with pretherapeutic neuroimaging data. Pretherapeutic gray matter density (GMD) was further correlated with TSTH improvement. No a priori hypothesis was used in the statistical model.
The only statistically significant region was right Brodmann area (BA) 18 (visual association area V2, p = 0.05, cluster size Kc = 71). Higher baseline GMD correlated with better TSTH improvement at 1 year after Vim RS (Spearman’s rank correlation coefficient = 0.002).
Routine baseline structural neuroimaging predicts TSTH improvement 1 year after Vim RS. The relevant anatomical area is the right visual association cortex (BA 18, V2). The question whether visual areas should be included in the targeting remains open.
KeywordsTremor Ventro-intermediate nucleus Voxel-based morphometry Visual association area Radiosurgery Thalamotomy
Compliance with ethical standards
Conflict of interest
All authors certify that they have no affiliations with or involvement in any organization or entity with any financial interest (such as honoraria; educational grants; participation in speakers’ bureaus; membership, employment, consultancies, stock ownership, or other equity interest; and expert testimony or patent-licensing arrangements), or non-financial interest (such as personal or professional relationships, affiliations, knowledge or beliefs) in the subject matter or materials discussed in this manuscript.
The study was approved by the local ethics committee of Timone University Hospital, Marseille, France. Patient consent was acquired in all cases.
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