Determination of optimal time window for cortical mapping in awake craniotomy: assessment of intraoperative reaction speed

  • Dziugas MeskeleviciusEmail author
  • Artur Schäfer
  • Jasmin  Katharina Weber
  • Lisa Hegmann
  • Lisa Haddad
  • Marcel Alexander Kamp
  • Bernd Mainzer
  • Marion Rapp
  • Hans-Jakob Steiger
  • Michael Sabel
Original Article


Currently, there is no known time frame when the patients are the most responsive during awake craniotomy. The aim of this work is therefore to determine when the patient has the shortest reaction time and so to extrapolate the optimal time window for cortical mapping. In this analytic observational study, our group has recorded the reaction times of 35 patients undergoing an awake craniotomy and compared them with the preoperative baseline. The operations were performed according to a “sleep–awake–awake” protocol. Data collection was performed in parallel with standard methods for evaluation of language and cognitive functions. The preoperative reaction times of our patient cohort (average ± SD = 510 ± 124 ms) were significantly shorter than those measured during the operation 786 ± 280 ms, p < .001. A one-factor ANOVA within subjects showed a significant increase in reaction times; p < .001. Post hoc comparisons on a Bonferroni-corrected α-error level of .05 showed significant differences between the reaction speed during the 0–10 min time frame and the preoperative baseline, as well as the intraoperative reaction times during the 20–30 min, 30–40 min, and the t > 40 min time frames. In conclusion, measurement of intraoperative reaction speed seems to be a technically feasible method that is well tolerated by the patients. The intraoperative reaction speed performance was shown to be significantly slower than on the day before the operation. The patients seem to be the slowest directly after extubation and gradually wake up during the awake phase. The poorest wakefulness is demonstrated during the first 20 min after extubation.


Awake craniotomy Cortical mapping Reaction time Wakefulness GBM Cerebral metastasis 


Compliance with ethical standards

Ethical statement

The authors declare that there is no conflict of interest. Local ethical committee granted the approval for this study, internal study number: 6076R. It was conducted in compliance with the Helsinki declaration and under conditions of good scientific and clinical practice. Informed consent was obtained from the study participants.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Dziugas Meskelevicius
    • 1
    Email author
  • Artur Schäfer
    • 1
  • Jasmin  Katharina Weber
    • 1
  • Lisa Hegmann
    • 1
  • Lisa Haddad
    • 1
  • Marcel Alexander Kamp
    • 1
  • Bernd Mainzer
    • 2
  • Marion Rapp
    • 1
  • Hans-Jakob Steiger
    • 1
  • Michael Sabel
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of NeurosurgeryUniversity Hospital DusseldorfDusseldorfGermany
  2. 2.Department of AnesthesiologyUniversity Hospital DusseldorfDusseldorfGermany

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