A decline in language function is a common complication after glioma surgery, affecting patients’ quality of life and survival. This study predicts the postoperative decline in language function and whether it can be recovered based on the preoperative white matter structural network.
Materials and methods
Eighty-one right-handed patients with glioma involving the left hemisphere were retrospectively included. Their language function was assessed using the Western Aphasia Battery before and 1 week and 3 months after surgery. Structural connectome combining DTI features was selected to predict postoperative language decline and recovery. Nested cross-validation was used to optimize the models, evaluate the prediction performance of the models, and identify the most predictive features.
Five, seven, and seven features were finally selected as the predictive features in each model and used to establish predictive models for postoperative language decline (1 week after surgery), long-term language decline (3 months after surgery), and language recovery, respectively. The overall accuracy of the three models in nested cross-validation and overall area under the receiver operating characteristic curve were 0.840, 0.790, and 0.867, and 0.841, 0.778, and 0.901, respectively.
We used machine learning algorithms to establish models to predict whether the language function of glioma patients will decline after surgery and whether postoperative language deficit can recover, which may help improve the development of treatment strategies. The difference in features in the non-language decline or the language recovery group may reflect the structural basis for the protection and compensation of language function in gliomas.
Clinical relevance statement
Models can predict the postoperative language decline and whether it can recover in glioma patients, possibly improving the development of treatment strategies. The difference in selected features may reflect the structural basis for the protection and compensation of language function.
• Structural connectome combining diffusion tensor imaging features predicted glioma patients’ language decline after surgery.
• Structural connectome combining diffusion tensor imaging features predicted language recovery of glioma patients with postoperative language disorder.
• Diffusion tensor imaging and connectome features related to language function changes imply plastic brain regions and connections.