Analysis of the subcomponents and cortical terminations of the perisylvian superior longitudinal fasciculus: A fiber dissection and DTI tractography study

Department of Neurological Surgery, Hospital Universitario Marqués de Valdecilla and Instituto de Formación e Investigación Marqués de Valdecilla (IFIMAV), Av de Valdecilla s/n, 39008, Santander, Cantabria, Spain, .
Brain Structure and Function (Impact Factor: 5.62). 03/2012; 218(1). DOI: 10.1007/s00429-012-0386-5
Source: PubMed


The anatomy of the perisylvian component of the superior longitudinal fasciculus (SLF) has recently been reviewed by numerous diffusion tensor imaging tractography (DTI) studies. However, little is known about the exact cortical terminations of this tract. The aim of the present work is to isolate the different subcomponents of this tract with fiber dissection and DTI tractography, and to identify the exact cortical connections. Twelve postmortem human hemispheres (6 right and 6 left) were dissected using the cortex-sparing fiber dissection. In addition, three healthy brains were analyzed using DTI-based tractography software. The different components of the perisylvian SLF were isolated and the fibers were followed until the cortical terminations. Three segments of the perisylvian SLF were identified: (1) anterior segment, connecting the supramarginal gyrus and superior temporal gyrus with the precentral gyrus, (2) posterior segment, connecting the posterior portion of the middle temporal gyrus with the angular gyrus, and (3) long segment of the arcuate fasciculus that connects the middle and inferior temporal gyri with the precentral gyrus and posterior portion of the inferior and middle frontal gyri. In the present study, three different components of the perisylvian SLF were identified. For the first time, our dissections revealed that each component was connected to a specific cortical area within the frontal, parietal and temporal lobes. By accurately depicting not only the trajectory but also cortical connections of this bundle, it is possible to develop new insights into the putative functional role of this tract.

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