Low-grade gliomas (LGG) are slow-growing brain tumors infiltrating the central nervous system which tend to recur, often with malignant degeneration after primary treatment. Re-operations are not always recommended due to an assumed higher risk of neurological and cognitive deficits. However, this assumption is relatively ungrounded due to a lack of extensive neuropsychological testing. We retrospectively examined a series of 40 patients with recurrent glioma in eloquent areas of the left hemisphere, who all completed comprehensive pre- (T3) and post-surgical (T4) neuropsychological assessments after a second surgery (4-month follow up). The lesions were most frequent in the left insular cortex and the inferior frontal gyrus. Among this series, in 17 patients the cognitive outcomes were compared before the first surgery (T1), 4 months after the first surgery (T2), and at T3 and T4. There was no significant difference either in the number of patients scoring within the normal range between T3 and T4, or in their level of performance. Further addressing the T1–T4 evolution, there was no significant difference in the number of patients scoring within the normal range. As to their level of performance, the only significant change was in phonological fluency. This longitudinal follow-up study showed that repeated glioma surgery is possible without major damage to cognitive functions in the short-term period (4 months) after surgery.
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