Vol 51, No 5 (2017)

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Reorganization of language centers in patients with brain tumors located in eloquent speech areas – A pre- and postoperative preliminary fMRI study

Katarzyna Gębska-Kośla1, Bartosz Bryszewski2, Dariusz J. Jaskólski2, Jan Fortuniak2, Maciej Niewodniczy3, Ludomir Stefańczyk4, Agata Majos1
DOI: 10.1016/j.pjnns.2017.07.010
Neurol Neurochir Pol 2017;51(5):403-410.



The aim of this study was to determine in pre- and postsurgical fMRI studies the rearrangement of the Broca's and Wernicke's areas and the lateralization index for these areas in patients with brain tumors located near speech centers. Impact of the surgical treatment on the brain plasticity was evaluated.

Materials and methods

Pre- and postoperative fMRI examinations were performed in 10 patients with low grade glial, left-sided brain tumors located close to the Broca's (5 patients) or Wernicke's area (5 patients). BOLD signal was recorded in regions of interest: Broca's and Wernicke's areas, and their anatomic right-sided homologues.


In the preoperative fMRI study the left Broca's area was activated in all cases. The right Broca's area was activated in all the patients with no speech disorders. In the postoperative fMRI the activation of both Broca's areas increased in two cases. In other two cases activation of one of the Broca's area increased along with the decrease in the contralateral hemisphere.

In all patients with temporal lobe tumors, the right Wernicke's area was activated in the pre- and postsurgical fMRI. After the operation, in two patients with speech disorder, the activation of both Broca's areas decreased and the activation of one of the Wernicke's areas increased.


In the cases of tumors localized near the left Broca's area, a transfer of the function to the healthy hemisphere seems to take place. Resection of tumors located near Broca's or Wernicke's areas may lead to relocation of the brain language centers.

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Neurologia i Neurochirurgia Polska