Use of 5-ALA fluorescence guided endoscopic biopsy of a deep-seated primary malignant brain tumor

J Neurosurg 114:1410–1413, 2011. DOI: 10.3171/2010.11.JNS10250

The introduction of fluorescence-guided resection of primary malignant brain tumors was a milestone in neurosurgery. Deep-seated malignant brain tumors are often not approachable for microsurgical resection. For diagnosis and therapy, new strategies are recommended. The combination of endoscopy and 5-aminolevulinic acid–induced protoporphyrin IX (5-ALA-induced Pp IX) fluorescence–guided procedures supported by neuronavigation seems an interesting option. Here the authors report on a combined approach for 5-ALA fluorescence–guided biopsy in which they use an endoscopy system based on an Xe lamp (excitation approximately lambda = 407 nm; dichroic filter system lambda = 380–430 nm) to treat a malignant tumor of the thalamus and perform a ventriculostomy and septostomy. The excitation filter and emission filter are adapted to ensure that the remaining visible blue remission is sufficient to superimpose on or suppress the excited red fluorescence of the endogenous fluorochromes. The authors report that the lesion was easily detectable in the fluorescence mode and that biopsy led to histological diagnosis.