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Pre-operative language ability in patients with presumed low-grade glioma

Journal article
Authors Malin Antonsson
Francesca Longoni
Asgeir Store Jakola
Magnus Tisell
Magnus Thordstein
Lena Hartelius
Published in Journal of Neuro-Oncology
Volume 137
Issue 1
Pages 93–102
ISSN 0167-594X
Publication year 2018
Published at Institute of Neuroscience and Physiology
Pages 93–102
Language en
Keywords Aphasia, Brain tumor, Language tests, Low-grade glioma
Subject categories Neurosurgery, Logopedics and phoniatrics


In patients with low-grade glioma (LGG), language deficits are usually only found and investigated after surgery. Deficits may be present before surgery but to date, studies have yielded varying results regarding the extent of this problem and in what language domains deficits may occur. This study therefore aims to explore the language ability of patients who have recently received a presumptive diagnosis of low-grade glioma, and also to see whether they reported any changes in their language ability before receiving treatment. Twenty-three patients were tested using a comprehensive test battery that consisted of standard aphasia tests and tests of lexical retrieval and high-level language functions. The patients were also asked whether they had noticed any change in their use of language or ability to communicate. The test scores were compared to a matched reference group and to clinical norms. The presumed LGG group performed significantly worse than the reference group on two tests of lexical retrieval. Since five patients after surgery were discovered to have a high-grade glioma, a separate analysis excluding them were performed. These analyses revealed comparable results; however one test of word fluency was no longer significant. Individually, the majority exhibited normal or nearly normal language ability and only a few reported subjective changes in language or ability to communicate. This study shows that patients who have been diagnosed with LGG generally show mild or no language deficits on either objective or subjective assessment.

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