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The Resistivity of Human Brain Tumours In Vivo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review


Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)706-713
Number of pages8
JournalAnnals of Biomedical Engineering
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 15 Mar 2019
Publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


The histological structure of tumour tissues differs from healthy brain tissues. It can therefore be assumed that there are differences also in the electrical characteristics of these tissues. The electrical characteristics of the tissues define how electric current is distributed within volume conductors, such as the human body or head. Incorrect values affect, for example, the accuracy of impedance tomography or EEG source localisation. However, no controlled experimental data for human in vivo brain tumour resistivity values have been reported thus far. We have developed a controlled method for detecting the electrical resistivities of living brain tissue and investigated different types of brain tumours. The measurements were taken during brain surgeries conducted to remove the tumours. For analysis purposes, the tumours were divided into the following categories: meningiomas, low-grade gliomas, high-grade gliomas (glioblastomas) and other tumours or lesions. The averages of the measured resistivity values were 530 Ω-cm for meningiomas, 160 Ω-cm for low-grade gliomas, and 498 Ω-cm for high-grade gliomas. The differences in high- and low-grade glioma values and meningioma and low-grade glioma values were statistically highly significant. The tumour values were also compared to surrounding healthy brain tissues, and the difference ranged from 40 to 330%. The results suggest that certain tumour types have different electronic properties and that the resistivity values could be used to distinguish tumour tissue from surrounding healthy tissue and to identify and classify certain brain tumour types.

ASJC Scopus subject areas


  • Conductivity, Modelling, Tissue electrical properties

Publication forum classification

Field of science, Statistics Finland