Preoperative mapping of language areas using fMRI greatly depends on the paradigms used, as different tasks harness distinct capabilities to activate speech processing areas. In this study, we compared the ability of 3 covert speech paradigms: Silent Sentence Completion (SSC), category naming (CAT) and verbal fluency (FAS), in localizing the Wernicke's area and studied the association between genomic markers and functional activation. Fifteen right-handed healthy volunteers and 35 mixed-handed patients were included. We focused on the anatomical areas of posterosuperior, middle temporal and angular gyri corresponding to Wernicke's area. Activity was deemed significant in a region of interest if P < 0.05. Association between fMRI activation and genomic mutation status was obtained. Results demonstrated SSC's superiority at localizing Wernicke's area. SSC demonstrated functional activity in 100% of cancer patients and healthy volunteers; which was significantly higher than those for FAS and CAT. Patients with 1p/19q non-co-deleted had higher extent of activation on SSC (P < 0.02). Those with IDH-1 wild-type were more likely to show no activity on CAT (P < 0.05). SSC is a robust paradigm for localizing Wernicke's area, making it an important clinical tool for function-preserving surgeries. We also found a correlation between tumor genomics and functional activation, which deserves more comprehensive study.
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