BACKGROUND: This study proposes a 3-dimensional (3-D) template of the insula in the bicommissural reference system with posterior commissure (PC) as the center of coordinates.
OBJECTIVE: Using the bicommissural anterior commissure (AC)–PC reference system, this study aimed to define a template and design a method for the 3-D reconstruction of the human insula that may be used at an individual level during stereotactic surgery.
METHODS: Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)–based morphometric analysis was performed on 100 cerebral cortices with normal insulae based on a 3-step procedure: Step 1: AC-PC reference system–based reconstruction of the insula from the 1-mm thick 3-D T1-weighted MRI slices. Step 2: Digitalization and superposition of the data obtained in the 3 spatial planes. Step 3: Representation of pixels as colors on a scale corresponding to the probability of localization of each insular anatomic component.
RESULTS: The morphometric analysis of the insula confirmed our previously reported findings of a more complex shape delimited by 4 peri-insular sulci. A very significant correlation between the coordinates of the main insular structures and the length of AC-PC was demonstrated. This close correlation allowed us to develop a method that allows the 3-D reconstruction of the insula from MRI slices and only requires the localization of AC and PC. This process defines an area deemed to contain insula with 100% probability.
CONCLUSION: This 3-D reconstruction of the insula should be useful to improve its localization and other cortical areas and allow the differentiation of insular cortex from opercular cortex.
ABBREVIATIONS: AC, anterior commissure
CI, confidence interval
CIS, central insular sulcus
PC, posterior commissure
VPC, the perpendicular plane on AC-PC plane passes by the posterior commissural