BACKGROUND: Glioblastoma resection guided by 5-aminolevulinic acid (5-ALA) fluorescence and intraoperative magnetic resonance imaging (iMRI) may improve surgical results and prolong survival.
OBJECTIVE: To evaluate 5-ALA fluorescence combined with subsequent low-field iMRI for resection control in glioblastoma surgery.
METHODS: Fourteen patients with suspected glioblastoma suitable for complete resection of contrast-enhancing portions were enrolled. The surgery was carried out using 5-ALA–induced fluorescence and frameless navigation. Areas suspicious for tumor underwent biopsy. After complete resection of fluorescent tissue, low-field iMRI was performed. Areas suspicious for tumor remnant underwent biopsy under navigation guidance and were resected. The histological analysis was blinded.
RESULTS: In 13 of 14 cases, the diagnosis was glioblastoma multiforme. One lymphoma and 1 case without fluorescence were excluded. In 11 of 12 operations, residual contrast enhancement on iMRI was found after complete resection of 5-ALA fluorescent tissue. In 1 case, the iMRI enhancement was in an eloquent area and did not undergo a biopsy. The 28 biopsies of areas suspicious for tumor on iMRI in the remaining 10 cases showed tumor in 39.3%, infiltration zone in 25%, reactive central nervous system tissue in 32.1%, and normal brain in 3.6%. Ninety-three fluorescent and 24 non-fluorescent tissue samples collected before iMRI contained tumor in 95.7% and 87.5%, respectively.
CONCLUSION: 5-ALA fluorescence–guided resection may leave some glioblastoma tissue undetected. MRI might detect areas suspicious for tumor even after complete resection of all fluorescent tissue; however, due to the limited accuracy of iMRI in predicting tumor remnant (64.3%), resection of this tissue has to be considered with caution in eloquent regions.
The commentary, “Commentary: Combining 5-Aminolevulinic Acid Fluorescence and Intraoperative Magnetic Resonance Imaging in Glioblastoma Surgery: A Histology-Based Evaluation” by Stummer, W, associated with this article is also free of charge and available to all readers.