Scale-Free Analysis of Intraoperative ECoG During Awake Craniotomy for Glioma

Diana Cristina Ghinda, Ben Lambert, Junfeng Lu, Ning Jiang, Eve Tsai, Adam Sachs, Jin Song Wu, Georg Northoff

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


Background: Electrocorticography (ECoG) has been utilized in many epilepsy cases however, the use of this technique for evaluating electrophysiological changes within tumoral zones is spare. Nonetheless, epileptic activities seem to arise from the neocortex surrounding the gliomas suggesting a link between epileptogenesis and glioma cell infiltration in the peritumoral area. The purpose of this study was to implement novel scale-free measures to assess how cortical physiology is altered by the presence of an invasive brain tumor. Methods: Twelve patients undergoing an awake craniotomy for resection of a supratentorial glioma were included. ECoG data over the main tumor and the exposed surroundings was acquired intra-operatively just prior to tumor resection. Six of the patients presented with seizures and had data acquired both in the awake and anesthetic state. The corresponding anatomical location of each electrode in relation to the macroscopically-detectable tumor was recorded using the neuronavigation system based on structural anatomical images obtained pre-operatively. The electrodes were classified into tumoral, healthy or peritumoral based on the macroscopically detectable tumoral tissue from the pre-operative structural MRI. Results: The electrodes overlying the tumoral tissue revealed higher power law exponent (PLE) values across tumoral area compared to the surrounding tissues. The difference between the awake and anesthetic states was significant in the tumoral and healthy tissue (p < 0.05) but not in the peritumoral tissue. The absence of a significant PLE reduction in the peritumoral tissue from the anesthetic to the awake state could be considered as an index of the presence or absence of infiltration of tumor cells into the peritumoral tissue. Conclusions: The current study portrays for the first time distinct power law exponent features in the tumoral tissue, which could provide a potential novel electrophysiological marker in the future. The distinct features seen in the peritumoral tissue of gliomas seem to indicate the area where both the onset of epileptiform activity and the tumor infiltration take place.

Original languageEnglish
Article number625474
JournalFrontiers in Oncology
Publication statusPublished - Feb 23 2021
Externally publishedYes


  • awake craniotomy
  • brain tumor
  • electrocorticography
  • glioma
  • glioma-related epilepsy
  • scale-free measures

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research


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