Accuracy of presurgical functional MR imaging for language mapping of brain tumors: A systematic review and meta-analysis

Hsu Huei Weng, Kyle R. Noll, Jason M. Johnson, Sujit S. Prabhu, Yuan Hsiung Tsai, Sheng Wei Chang, Yen Chu Huang, Jiann Der Lee, Jen Tsung Yang, Cheng Ta Yang, Ying Huang Tsai, Chun Yuh Yang, John D. Hazle, Donald F. Schomer, Ho Ling Liu*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

44 Scopus citations


Purpose: To compare functional magnetic resonance (MR) imaging for language mapping (hereafter, language functional MR imaging) with direct cortical stimulation (DCS) in patients with brain tumors and to assess factors associated with its accuracy. Materials and Methods: PubMed/MEDLINE and related databases were searched for research articles published between January 2000 and September 2016. Findings were pooled by using bivariate random-effects and hierarchic summary receiver operating characteristic curve models. Meta-regression and subgroup analyses were performed to evaluate whether publication year, functional MR imaging paradigm, magnetic field strength, statistical threshold, and analysis software affected classification accuracy. Results: Ten articles with a total of 214 patients were included in the analysis. On a per-patient basis, the pooled sensitivity and specificity of functional MR imaging was 44% (95% confidence interval [CI]: 14%, 78%) and 80% (95% CI: 54%, 93%), respectively. On a per-tag basis (ie, each DCS stimulation site or "tag" was considered a separate data point across all patients), the pooled sensitivity and specificity were 67% (95% CI: 51%, 80%) and 55% (95% CI: 25%, 82%), respectively. The per-tag analysis showed significantly higher sensitivity for studies with shorter functional MR imaging session times (P = .03) and relaxed statistical threshold (P = .05). Significantly higher specificity was found when expressive language task (P = .02), longer functional MR imaging session times (P , .01), visual presentation of stimuli (P = .04), and stringent statistical threshold (P = .01) were used. Conclusion: Results of this study showed moderate accuracy of language functional MR imaging when compared with intraoperative DCS, and the included studies displayed significant methodologic heterogeneity.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)512-523
Number of pages12
Issue number2
StatePublished - 02 2018


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