Development of an educational method to rethink and learn oncological brain surgery in an “a la carte” connectome-based perspective

Pablo A. Valdes, Sam Ng, Joshua D. Bernstock, Hugues Duffau

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Background: Understanding the structural connectivity of white matter tracts (WMT) and their related functions is a prerequisite to implementing an “a la carte” “connectomic approach” to glioma surgery. However, accessible resources facilitating such an approach are lacking. Here we present an educational method that is readily accessible, simple, and reproducible that enables the visualization of WMTs on individual patient images via an atlas-based approach. Methods: Our method uses the patient’s own magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) images and consists of three main steps: data conversion, normalization, and visualization; these are accomplished using accessible software packages and WMT atlases. We implement our method on three common cases encountered in glioma surgery: a right supplementary motor area tumor, a left insular tumor, and a left temporal tumor. Results: Using patient-specific perioperative MRIs with open-sourced and co-registered atlas-derived WMTs, we highlight the critical subnetworks requiring specific surgical monitoring identified intraoperatively using direct electrostimulation mapping with cognitive monitoring. The aim of this didactic method is to provide the neurosurgical oncology community with an accessible and ready-to-use educational tool, enabling neurosurgeons to improve their knowledge of WMTs and to better learn their oncologic cases, especially in glioma surgery using awake mapping. Conclusions: Taking no more than 3–5 min per patient and irrespective of their resource settings, we believe that this method will enable junior surgeons to develop an intuition, and a robust 3-dimensional imagery of WMT by regularly applying it to their cases both before and after surgery to develop an “a la carte” connectome-based perspective to glioma surgery.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2489-2500
Number of pages12
JournalActa Neurochirurgica
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 2023
Externally publishedYes


  • Awake surgery
  • Brain mapping
  • Brain tumor
  • Connectome
  • Glioma
  • White matter tracts

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Clinical Neurology


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