Objective: Glioma patients often complain about problems in daily conversation with a negative impact on quality of life. Disorders in standardized language tests (e.g. naming and fluency), are frequently observed. Most studies claim recovery of language functions within 3 months. However, long-term effects of surgery on spontaneous speech remain unknown.
Patients and Methods: Eighteen glioma patients were compared to healthy controls in spontaneous speech variables: Type Token Ratio (TTR), Mean Length of Utterance words (MLUw), Incomplete Sentences, Self-corrections and Repetitions. Boston Naming Test (BNT) and Category Fluency (CF) were also assessed. We compared: pre- and 3 months postoperatively (T1-T2), 3 months and 1 year postoperatively (T2-T3), pre- and 1 year postoperatively (T1-T3). Correlations were computed between deviating variables and BNT/CF, tumor localization, and tumor grade.
Results: Patients had deficits in Incomplete sentences (T1, T2, T3), TTR (T2,T3), MLUw (T3) and Self-corrections (T2). Between T1-T2 no decline was present. Between T2-T3 and T1-T3, there was a decrease of MLUw, Self-corrections and Repetitions and an increase of Incomplete Sentences, BNT and CF were impaired (T1, T2, T3) without differences between test-moments. Most spontaneous speech variables did not correlate with standardized tests. Tumor localization and grade had no influence on spontaneous speech.
Conclusion: Glioma patients showed impaired spontaneous speech combined with naming and fluency deficits. Surgery appeared to have deteriorated the quality of spontaneous speech until long-term but not the performance at test-level. Hence, spontaneous speech has an added value to standardized tests for diagnosis of language impairments.

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doi.org/10.1016/j.clineuro.2018.02.018, hdl.handle.net/1765/104803
Clinical Neurology and Neurosurgery
Department of Neurosurgery

Vincent, A., Ruhaak, L., Smits, M., Dirven, C., & Visch-Brink, E. (2018). Spontaneous speech in patients with gliomas in eloquent areas. Clinical Neurology and Neurosurgery, 167, 112–116. doi:10.1016/j.clineuro.2018.02.018