Motor Mapping of the Brain: Taniguchi Versus Penfield Method

Intraoperative neurophysiological monitoring (IONM) techniques continue to prove useful as an adjunct in select surgeri…

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Intraoperative neurophysiological monitoring (IONM) techniques continue to prove useful as an adjunct in select surgeries for reducing the incidence of various postoperative deficits in motor function through the monitoring of motor evoked potentials (MEPs). The Penfield and Taniguchi methods of direct electrical cortical stimulation (DECS) stand in contrast to each other. Penfield’s method uses lower-frequency stimulation over a longer duration, while Taniguchi’s method uses a relatively higher frequency over a short duration. DECS motor mapping is considered suitable for tumor resections, aneurysm surgeries, arteriovenous malformation, and epilepsy surgeries. While subcortical motor mapping works efficiently with both methods, it aligns with Taniguchi’s method more effectively. Taniguchi’s method has a lower risk of seizures relative to Penfield’s method. While only cortical neurons are excited in Penfield’s stimulation technique, Taniguchi’s technique excites the whole corticospinal tract (CST), so it can be used for mapping in a stand-alone fashion. The Penfield technique remains the method of choice for language mapping. In all motor mapping, Train-of-Four (TOF) stimulation during the surgical procedure ensures that the patient’s muscles are not unduly relaxed.

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