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: 1.97). 03/2012; 35(3):381-91; discussion 391. DOI: 10.1007/s10143-012-0374-5
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT 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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    ABSTRACT: Object Subtotal resection (STR) of spinal tumors can result in tumor recurrence. Currently, no clinically reliable marker is available for intraoperative visualization of spinal tumor tissue. Protoporphyrin IX (PpIX) fluorescence induced by 5-aminolevulinic acid (5-ALA) is capable of visualizing malignant gliomas. Fluorescence-guided resections of malignant cerebral gliomas using 5-ALA have resulted in an increased rate of complete tumor removal. Recently, the application of 5-ALA has also been described in the first cases of spinal tumors. Therefore, the aim of this observational study was to systematically investigate 5-ALA-induced fluorescence characteristics in different spinal tumor entities. Methods Three hours before the induction of anesthesia, 5-ALA was administered to patients with different intra- and extradural spinal tumors. In all patients a neurosurgical resection or biopsy of the spinal tumor was performed under conventional white-light microscopy. During each surgery, the presence of PpIX fluorescence was additionally assessed using a modified neurosurgical microscope. At the end of an assumed gross-total resection (GTR) under white-light microscopy, a final inspection of the surgical cavity of fluorescing intramedullary tumors was performed to look for any remaining fluorescing foci. Histopathological tumor diagnosis was established according to the current WHO classification. Results Fifty-two patients with 55 spinal tumors were included in this study. Resection was performed in 50 of 55 cases, whereas 5 of 55 cases underwent biopsy. Gross-total resection was achieved in 37 cases, STR in 5, and partial resection in 8 cases. Protoporphyrin IX fluorescence was visible in 30 (55%) of 55 cases, but not in 25 (45%) of 55 cases. Positive PpIX fluorescence was mainly detected in ependymomas (12 of 12), meningiomas (12 of 12), hemangiopericytomas (3 of 3), and in drop metastases of primary CNS tumors (2 of 2). In contrast, none of the neurinomas (8 of 8), carcinoma metastases (5 of 5), and primary spinal gliomas (3 of 3; 1 pilocytic astrocytoma, 1 WHO Grade II astrocytoma, 1 WHO Grade III anaplastic oligoastrocytoma) revealed PpIX fluorescence. It is notable that residual fluorescing tumor foci were detected and subsequently resected in 4 of 8 intramedullary ependymomas despite assumed GTR under white-light microscopy. Conclusions In this study, 5-ALA-PpIX fluorescence was observed in spinal tumors, especially ependymomas, meningiomas, hemangiopericytomas, and drop metastases of primary CNS tumors. In cases of intramedullary tumors, 5-ALA-induced PpIX fluorescence is a useful tool for the detection of potential residual tumor foci.
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