Strong 5-aminolevulinic acid-induced fluorescence is a novel intraoperative marker for representative tissue samples in stereotactic brain tumor biopsies

Department of Neurosurgery, Medical University Vienna, Vienna, Austria.
Neurosurgical Review (Impact Factor: 2.18). 03/2012; 35(3):381-91; discussion 391. DOI: 10.1007/s10143-012-0374-5
Source: PubMed


Stereotactic biopsies represent a routine neurosurgical procedure for the diagnosis of intracranial lymphomas and selected diffusely infiltrating gliomas. Acquisition of tissue samples that do not allow correct tumor typing and grading is, however, not uncommon. Five-aminolevulinic acid (5-ALA) has been shown to accumulate in malignant tumor tissue. The aim of this study was to prospectively investigate the clinical usability of 5-ALA for intraoperative detection of representative tissue in stereotactic tumor biopsies. Fifty consecutive patients underwent frameless stereotactic biopsy for a suspected brain tumor. 5-ALA was administered 4 h before anesthesia. Serial biopsy samples were obtained and intraoperatively checked for 5-ALA fluorescence (strong, vague, or none) using a modified neurosurgical microscope. All samples were examined for the presence of representative tumor tissue according to neuroimaging (MRI, positron emission tomography, and/or chemical shift imaging) and histopathological parameters. Visible 5-ALA fluorescence was observed in 43/50 patients (strong in 39 and vague fluorescence in four cases). At biopsy target, 52/53 samples of glioblastomas, 9/10 samples of gliomas grade III, and 14/16 samples of lymphomas revealed strong 5-ALA fluorescence. Samples with strong 5-ALA fluorescence were only observed at, but not outside the biopsy target. All tissue samples with strong 5-ALA fluorescence were representative according to our neuroimaging and histopathological criteria (positive predictive value of 100%). Our data indicate that strong 5-ALA fluorescence is a reliable and immediately available intraoperative marker of representative tumor tissue of malignant gliomas and intracranial lymphomas in stereotactic biopsies. Thereby, the application of 5-ALA in stereotactic brain tumor biopsies may in future reduce costs for operating room and neuropathology and may decrease procedure-related morbidity.

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    • "Our study is limited to assessment of remaining tumor using iMRI. A recent study investigated the use of 5-ALA as a marker for representative stereotactic biopsy samples in several types of tumor, and found better values compared with our study for specificity (1.00) and sensitivity (0.69) in case of strong 5-ALA fluorescence.[32] Another study used 5-ALA to differentiate between necrosis, (fluorescent) “tumor cells”, and (nonfluorescent) “margin cells”. "
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    ABSTRACT: Object: Glioblastoma is a highly malignant brain tumor, for which standard treatment consists of surgery, radiotherapy, and chemotherapy. Increasing extent of tumor resection (EOTR) is associated with prolonged survival. Intraoperative magnetic resonance imaging (iMRI) is used to increase EOTR, based on contrast enhanced MR images. The correlation between intraoperative contrast enhancement and tumor has not been studied systematically. Methods: For this prospective cohort study, we recruited 10 patients with a supratentorial brain tumor suspect for a glioblastoma. After initial resection, a 0.15 Tesla iMRI scan was made and neuronavigation-guided biopsies were taken from the border of the resection cavity. Scores for gadolinium-based contrast enhancement on iMRI and for tissue characteristics in histological slides of the biopsies were used to calculate correlations (expressed in Kendall's tau). Results: A total of 39 biopsy samples was available for further analysis. Contrast enhancement was significantly correlated with World Health Organization (WHO) grade (tau 0.50), vascular changes (tau 0.53), necrosis (tau 0.49), and increased cellularity (tau 0.26). Specificity of enhancement patterns scored as “thick linear” and “tumor-like” for detection of (high grade) tumor was 1, but decreased to circa 0.75 if “thin linear” enhancement was included. Sensitivity for both enhancement patterns varied around 0.39-0.48 and 0.61-0.70, respectively. Conclusions: Presence of intraoperative contrast enhancement is a good predictor for presence of tumor, but absence of contrast enhancement is a bad predictor for absence of tumor. The use of gadolinium-based contrast enhancement on iMRI to maximize glioblastoma resection should be evaluated against other methods to increase resection, like new contrast agents, other imaging modalities, and “functional neurooncology” – an approach to achieve surgical resection guided by functional rather than oncological-anatomical boundaries.
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    ABSTRACT: Proper treatment of deep seated brain tumors requires correct histological diagnosis which unambiguously necessitates biopsy sampling. Stereotactically guided sampling of biopsies is widely used but bears the danger of incorrect sampling locations and damage to intracerebral blood vessels. Here, we present a minimally invasive contact endoscopic probe that can be inserted into the tissue inside a standard biopsy needle and allows for fluorescence detection of both tumorous tissue and intracerebral blood vessels. Outer diameter of our contact probe is smaller than 1.5 mm, field-of-view in the range of several hundred microns; the optical design allows for simultaneous detection and visualization of tissue autofluorescence and selective fluorescence signals from deep seated brain tumors and vasculature as shown on in vivo animal models. We demonstrate the tumor detection capability during stereotactic needle insertion in a clinical pilot trial. Using our probe, we expect stereotactic interventions to become safer and more precise and the technology might ultimately be used also for various other kinds of applications.
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