Fluorescence Guided Resection of Brain Tumors : Evaluation of a Hand-held Spectroscopic Probe

Abstract: Malignant gliomas grow infiltrative in the brain and can therefore not be completely removed by neurosurgical means. However, for an optimized oncological treatment it has proven useful to resect as much as possible of tumor. The identification of the tumor in the marginal zone is difficult but crucial. Studies have shown that visualization of the specific enhancement of 5-aminolevulinic acid(5-ALA) in the tumor can help to maximize the resection. The Department of Biomedical Engineering, Linköping University, has developed an optical hand-held probe (HHP) to identify tumor tissue with a high sensitivity by means of fluorescence spectroscopy.The technical design and the optical properties of the probe were gradually developed in a standard neurosurgical setting during resection of malignant gliomas. The device could easily be implemented in the operating room, meeting all requirements in terms of sterile handling and without interference of any kind with other equipment. The integration of the device in a navigation system and its use in combination with a blue light surgical microscope were simple. Measurements in 27 operations during resection of malignant gliomas were compared to results from biopsies from the same tumor locations. The equipment was tested as a stand-alone device (n = 180), integrated in a navigation system or in combination with the blue light microscope (n = 190). A ratiocal culated from the measurements enabled objective and comparable values for different tissue types, in correspondence with the findings from the histopathological examinations and in accordance with the navigation system as well as with the surgical microscope.The marginal zone was explored and tumor fluorescence could be identified beyond the fluorescence as seen through the microscope. A higher sensitivity of the HHP was confirmed; the specificity was lower.The combined use of the HHP with a navigation system and with asurgical microscope was beneficial.

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