One-Insertion Stereotactic Brain Biopsy Using In Vivo Optical Guidance

Operative Neurosurgery 25:176–182, 2023

Stereotactic neurosurgical brain biopsies are afflicted with risks of inconclusive results and hemorrhage. Such complications can necessitate repeated trajectories and prolong surgical time.

OBJECTIVE: To develop and introduce a 1-insertion stereotactic biopsy kit with direct intraoperative optical feedback and to evaluate its applicability in 3 clinical cases.

METHODS: An in-house forward-looking probe with optical fibers was designed to fit the outer cannula of a side-cutting biopsy kit. A small aperture was made at the tip of the outer cannula and the edges aligned with the optical probe inside. Stereotactic biopsies were performed using the Leksell Stereotactic System. Optical signals were measured in millimeter steps along the preplanned trajectory during the insertion. At the region with the highest 5-aminolevulinic acid (5-ALA)induced fluorescence, the probe was replaced by the inner cannula, and tissue samples were taken. The waiting time for pathology diagnosis was noted.

RESULTS: Measurements took 5 to 10 minutes, and the surgeon received direct visual feedback of intraoperative 5-ALA fluorescence, microcirculation, and tissue gray-whiteness. The 5-ALA fluorescence corroborated with the pathological findings which had waiting times of 45, 50, and 75 minutes. Because only 1 trajectory was required and the patient could be prepared for the end of surgery immediately after sampling, this shortened the total surgical time. CONCLUSION: A 1-insertion stereotactic biopsy procedure with real-time optical guidance has been presented and successfully evaluated in 3 clinical cases. The method can be modified for frameless navigation and thus has great potential to improve safety and diagnostic yield for both frameless and frame-based neurosurgical biopsy procedures.

A New Noninvasive Frameless Registration System for Stereotactic Cranial Biopsy

 Operative Neurosurgery 24:64–67, 2023

Although frame-based stereotactic biopsy is still considered the gold standard for brain biopsies, frameless robot-assisted stereotactic systems are now able to provide an equal level of safety and accuracy. However, both systems suffer from a lack of efficiency of the operative workflow.

OBJECTIVE: To describe the technique of a new frameless and noninvasive registration tool Neurolocate (Renishaw). This tool, combined with an intraoperative cone-beam computed tomography imaging system like O-ARM (Medtronic), might facilitate the achievement and workflow of robot-assisted stereotactic intracranial biopsies.

METHODS: Neurolocate is a 3-dimensional fiducial tool fixed directly on the Neuromate (Renishaw) robot arm. It consists of 5 radio-opaque spherical fiducials, whose geometry is constant. This tool made it possible to carry out the coregistration then the biopsy in the same operating time, following a five-step procedure described here. We retrospectively extracted selected preliminary results from our initial experience.

RESULTS: Over 1 year, 23 consecutive adult patients were biopsied with Neurolocate in our center. The mean overall operative time, from patient’s installation to skin closure, was 97 minutes ± 27 (SD). The entire procedure took place in a single location unit (operating room), which facilitated workflow and surgical planning. No invasive gesture was performed outside of the operating time.

CONCLUSION: Neurolocate is a new frameless and noninvasive registration tool that could improve workflow and flexibility for operating room management and surgical planning. It may also increase the comfort of patients undergoing robot-assisted intracranial stereotactic biopsies. The accuracy and safety profile should be addressed in specific studies.

 

Frameless neuronavigation‑assisted brain biopsy with electromagnetic tracking

Acta Neurochirurgica (2022) 164:3317–3322

In recent years, thanks to several technological innovations, stereotactic cerebral biopsies have evolved from frame-based to frameless neuronavigation-assisted techniques.

Methods The authors provide herein a detailed step-by-step description of the technique, shedding light on surgical tips and how to avoid complications. The practical application of the technique is demonstrated with a high-quality video.

Conclusion The neuronavigation-assisted brain biopsy with electromagnetic tracking is a “true frameless” procedure. It represents a simple, safe, and effective innovation for frameless biopsy of cerebral lesions. This technique is time efficient, offering a high degree of accuracy required for the establishment of a definitive diagnosis, enabling optimal further treatment, and thus improving patient outcome.

Sodium Fluorescein Facilitates Guided Sampling of Diagnostic Tumor Tissue in Nonenhancing Gliomas

Neurosurgery 82:719–727, 2018

Accurate tissue sampling in nonenhancing (NE) gliomas is a unique surgical challenge due to their intratumoral histological heterogeneity and absence of contrast enhancement as a guide for intraoperative stereotactic guidance. Instead, T2/fluid-attenuated inversion-recovery (FLAIR) hyperintensity on MRI is commonly used as an imaging surrogate for pathological tissue, but sampling from this region can yield nondiagnostic or underdiagnostic brain tissue. Sodium fluorescein is an intraoperative fluorescent dye that has a high predictive value for tumor identification in areas of contrast enhancement and NE in glioblastomas. However, the underlying histopathological alterations in fluorescent regions of NE gliomas remain undefined.

OBJECTIVE: To evaluate whether fluorescein can identify diagnostic tissue and differentiate regions with higher malignant potential during surgery for NE gliomas, thus improving sampling accuracy.

METHODS: Thirteen patients who presented with NE, T2/FLAIR hyperintense lesions suspicious for glioma received fluorescein (10%, 3 mg/kg intravenously) during surgical resection.

RESULTS: Patchy fluorescence was identified within the T2/FLAIR hyperintense area in 10 of 13 (77%) patients. Samples taken from fluorescent regions were more likely to demonstrate diagnostic glioma tissue and cytologic atypia (P < .05). Fluorescein demonstrated a 95% positive predictive value for the presence of diagnostic tissue. Samples from areas of fluorescence also demonstrated greater total cell density and higher Ki-67 labeling than nonfluorescent biopsies (P < .05).

CONCLUSION: Fluorescence in NE gliomas is highly predictive of diagnostic tumor tissue and regions of higher cell density and proliferative activity.

Developing an Algorithm for Optimizing Care of Elderly Patients With Glioblastoma

Neurosurgery 82:64–75, 2018

Elderly patients with glioblastoma have an especially poor prognosis; optimizing their medical and surgical care remains of paramount importance.

OBJECTIVE: To investigate patient and treatment characteristics of elderly vs nonelderly patients and develop an algorithm to predict elderly patients’ survival.

METHODS: Retrospective analysis of 554 patients (mean age=60.8; 42.0% female) undergoing first glioblastoma resection or biopsy at our institution (2005-2011).

RESULTS: Of the 554 patients, 218 (39%) were elderly (≥65 yr). Compared with nonelderly, elderly patients were more likely to receive biopsy only (26% vs 16%), have ≥1 medical comorbidity (40% vs 20%), and develop postresection morbidity (eg, seizure, delirium; 25% vs 14%), and were less likely to receive temozolomide (TMZ) (78% vs 90%) and gross total resection (31% vs 45%). To predict benefit of resection in elderly patients (n = 161), we identified 5 factors known in the preoperative period that predicted survival in a multivariate analysis. We then assigned points to each (1 point: Charlson comorbidity score >0, subtotal resection, tumor >3 cm; 2 points: preoperative weakness, Charlson comorbidity score >1, tumor >5 cm, age >75 yr; 4 points: age >85 yr). Having 3 to 5 points (n = 78, 56%) was associated with decreased survival compared to 0 to 2 points (n = 41, 29%, 8.5 vs 16.9 mo; P = .001) and increased survival compared to 6 to 9 points (n = 20, 14%, 8.5 vs 4.5 mo; P < .001). Patients with 6 to 9 points did not survive significantly longer than elderly patients receiving biopsy only (n = 57, 4.5 vs 2.7 mo; P = .58).

CONCLUSION: Further optimization of the medical and surgical care of elderly glioblastoma patients may be achieved by providing more beneficial therapies while avoiding unnecessary resection in those not likely to receive benefit from this intervention.

 

Intraoperative Probe-Based Confocal Laser Endomicroscopy in Surgery and Stereotactic Biopsy of Low-Grade and High-Grade Gliomas

intraoperative_probe_based_confocal_laser

Neurosurgery 79:604–612, 2016

The management of gliomas is based on precise histologic diagnosis. The tumor tissue can be obtained during open surgery or via stereotactic biopsy. Intraoperative tissue imaging could substantially improve biopsy precision and, ultimately, the extent of resection.

OBJECTIVE: To show the feasibility of intraoperative in vivo probe-based confocal laser endomicroscopy (pCLE) in surgery and biopsy of gliomas.

METHODS: In our prospective observational study, 9 adult patients were enrolled between September 2014 and January 2015. Two contrast agents were used: 5-aminolevulinic acid (3 cases) or intravenous fluorescein (6 cases). Intraoperative imaging was performed with the Cellvizio system (Mauna Kea Technologies, Paris). A 0.85-mm probe was used for stereotactic procedures, with the biopsy needle modified to have a distal opening. During open brain surgery, a 2.36-mm probe was used. Each series corresponds to a separate histologic fragment.

RESULTS: The diagnoses of the lesions were glioblastoma (4 cases), low-grade glioma (2), grade III oligoastrocytoma (2), and lymphoma (1). Autofluorescence of neurons in cortex was observed. Cellvizio images enabled differentiation of healthy “normal” tissue from pathological tissue in open surgery and stereotactic biopsy using fluorescein. 5-Aminolevulinic acid confocal patterns were difficult to establish. No intraoperative complications related to pCLE or to use of either contrast agent were observed.

CONCLUSION: We report the initial feasibility and safety of intraoperative pCLE during primary brain tumor resection and stereotactic biopsy procedures. Pending further investigation, pCLE of brain tissue could be utilized for intraoperative surgical guidance, improvement in brain biopsy yield, and optimization of glioma resection via analysis of tumor margins.

Contemporary frameless intracranial biopsy techniques: Might variation in safety and efficacy be expected?

trajectory-stem-base

Acta Neurochir (2015) 157:2011–2016

Frameless stereotactic neuronavigation has proven to be a feasible technology to acquire brain biopsies with good accuracy and little morbidity and mortality. New systems are constantly introduced into the neurosurgical armamentarium, although few studies have actually evaluated and compared the diagnostic yield, morbidity, and mortality of various manufacturer’s frameless neuronavigation systems. The present study reports our experience with brain biopsy procedures performed using both the Medtronic Stealth TreonTM Vertek® and BrainLAB® Varioguide frameless stereotactic brain biopsy systems.

Patients and methods All 247 consecutive biopsies from January 2008 until May 2013 were evaluated retrospectively. One hundred two biopsies each were performed using the Medtronic (2008–2009) and BrainLAB® system (2011– 2013), respectively. The year 2010 was considered a transition year, in which 43 biopsies were performed with either system. Patient demographics, perioperative characteristics, and histological diagnosis were reviewed, and a comparison was made between the two brain biopsy systems.

Results The overall diagnostic yield was 94.6 %, i.e., 11 biopsies were nondiagnostic, 5 (4.9 %) with the Medtronic and 6 (5.9 %) with the BrainLAB® system. No differences besides the operating time (108 vs 120 min) were found between the two biopsy methods. On average, 6.6 tissue samples were taken with either technique. Peri- and postoperative complications were seen in 5.3 % and 12.9 %, consisting of three symptomatic hemorrhages (1.2 %). Biopsy-related mortality occurred in 0.8 % of all biopsies.

Conclusions Regarding diagnostic yield, complication rate, and biopsy-related mortality, there seems to be no difference between the frameless biopsy technique from Medtronic and BrainLAB®. In contemporary time, the neurosurgeon has many tools to choose from, all with a relatively fast learning curve and ever improving feasibility. Thus, the issue of choice involves not the results, but the familiarity, end-user friendliness, and overall comfort when operating the system.

Combined rigid and flexible endoscopy for tumors in the posterior third ventricle

Combined rigid and flexible endoscopy for tumors in the posterior third ventricle

J Neurosurg 122:1341–1346, 2015

Tumors leading to occlusion of the sylvian aqueduct include those of pineal, thalamic, and tectal origins. These tumors cause obstructive hydrocephalus and thus necessitate a CSF diversion procedure such as an endoscopic third ventriculostomy (ETV), often coupled with an endoscopic biopsy (EBX). Lesions located posterior to the massa intermedia pose a technical challenge, as the use of a rigid endoscope for performing both an ETV and EBX is limited. The authors describe their experience using a combined rigid and flexible endoscopic procedure through a single bur hole for both procedures in patients with posterior third ventricular tumors.

Methods Since January 2012, patients with posterior third ventricular tumors causing hydrocephalus underwent dual ETV and EBX procedures using the combined rigid-flexible endoscopic technique. Following institutional review board approval, data from clinical, radiological, surgical, and pathological records were retrospectively collected.

Results Six patients 3.5–53 years of age were included. Lesion locations included pineal (n = 3), fourth ventricle (n = 1), aqueduct (n = 1), and tectum (n = 1). The ETV and EBX were successful in all cases. Pathologies included pilocytic astrocytoma, pineoblastoma, ependymoma Grade II, germinoma, low-grade glioneural tumor, and atypical choroid plexus papilloma. One patient experienced an immediate postoperative intraventricular hemorrhage necessitating evacuation of the clots and resection of the tumor, eventually leading to the patient’s death.

Conclusions The authors recommend using a combined rigid-flexible endoscope for endoscopic third ventriculostomy and biopsy to approach posterior third ventricular tumors (behind the massa intermedia). This technique overcomes the limitations of using a rigid endoscope by reaching 2 distant regions.

Frameless robotic stereotactic biopsies: a consecutive series of 100 cases

Frameless robotic stereotactic biopsies- a consecutive series of 100 cases

J Neurosurg 122:342–352, 2015

Stereotactic biopsy procedures are an everyday part of neurosurgery. The procedure provides an accurate histological diagnosis with the least possible morbidity. Robotic stereotactic biopsy needs to be an accurate, safe, frameless, and rapid technique. This article reports the clinical results of a series of 100 frameless robotic biopsies using a Medtech ROSA device.

Methods The authors retrospectively analyzed their first 100 frameless stereotactic biopsies performed with the robotic ROSA device: 84 biopsies were performed by frameless robotic surface registration, 7 were performed by robotic bone fiducial marker registration, and 9 were performed by scalp fiducial marker registration. Intraoperative flat-panel CT scanning was performed concomitantly in 25 cases. The operative details of the robotic biopsies, the diagnostic yield, and mortality and morbidity data observed in this series are reported.

Results A histological diagnosis was established in 97 patients. No deaths or permanent morbidity related to surgery were observed. Six patients experienced transient neurological worsening. Six cases of bleeding within the lesion or along the biopsy trajectory were observed on postoperative CT scans but were associated with transient clinical symptoms in only 2 cases. Stereotactic surgery was performed with patients in the supine position in 93 cases and in the prone position in 7 cases. The use of fiducial markers was reserved for posterior fossa biopsy via a transcerebellar approach, via an occipital approach, or for pediatric biopsy.

Conclusions ROSA frameless stereotactic biopsies appear to be accurate and safe robotized frameless procedures.

Electromagnetic Image-Guided Biopsy of Cerebral Lesions

Neurosurgery 70[ONS Suppl 1]:ons29–ons33, 2012 DOI: 10.1227/NEU.0b013e31822d75af

In recent years, frameless navigation techniques have been reported to be safe and effective for biopsy of cerebral lesions.

OBJECTIVE: To evaluate the safety and efficacy of a technique of frameless, pinless electromagnetic-guided biopsy for brain lesions with the Medtronic Stealth AxiEM.

METHODS: Prospective data were collected on consecutive brain biopsies performed by a single surgeon (P.L.G.) with this technology between October 2007 and May 2010. One trajectory was made per lesion with multiple specimens taken for analysis. Outcome measures included measures of accuracy, histological yield, and complication rate.

RESULTS: A total of 150 biopsies were performed in 149 patients (84 male and 65 female patients; age range, 19.8-83.8 years). The consultant performed 49 procedures, supervising a trainee in the others. In only 1 case (0.7%) was there nondiagnosis consequent of a registration error and inaccurate trajectory. In 4 other cases (2.7%), no specific diagnosis was established, but abnormal tissue was identified histologically, and postoperative imaging confirmed accurate targeting of these lesions. There were no instances of intracranial hemorrhage or significant morbidity and no deaths directly attributable to the procedure. Four patients (2.7%) died within 30 days of the procedure but not of complications of surgery. One patient suffered a transitory neurological deficit.

CONCLUSION: Electromagnetic navigation is proven to be a simple, safe, and effective innovation for frameless and pinless biopsy of cerebral lesions. This technique is time efficient, and elimination of frame placement enhances patient comfort and facilitates the use of local anesthetic technique.

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.

Pineal region tumors: an optimal approach for simultaneous endoscopic third ventriculostomy and biopsy

Neurosurg Focus 30 (4):E3, 2011. DOI: 10.3171/2011.2.FOCUS10301

Simultaneous endoscopic third ventriculostomy (ETV) and tumor biopsy is a widely accepted therapeutic and diagnostic procedure for patients with noncommunicating hydrocephalus secondary to a pineal region tumor. Multiple approaches have been advocated, including the use of a steerable fiberoptic or rigid lens endoscope via 1 or 2 trajectories. However, the optimal approach has not been established based on the individual anatomical characteristics of the patient.

 Methods. A retrospective review of patients undergoing simultaneous ETV and tumor biopsy was undertaken. Preoperative MR images were examined to measure the width of the anterior third ventricle and maximal diameters of the tumor, Monro foramen (right), and massa intermedia. The distances between the tumor and massa intermedia, tumor and anterior commissure, midbrain and massa intermedia, and the dorsum sella and anterior commissure were also recorded. Single and dual trajectory approaches were compared using paired t-tests for each parameter.

Results. Over an 8-year interval, 15 patients underwent simultaneous ETV and tumor management. These patients ranged from 6 to 71 years of age (mean 36.7 years); 5 were younger than 18 years of age. Seven were treated using a dual trajectory approach, and 8 were treated using a single trajectory approach. All cases were completed without complications or the need for an additional CSF diversionary procedure within 6 months. The diagnostic yield at biopsy was 86.7%. There were no statistically significant differences between the single and dual trajectory groups for the measured parameters. However, the dual trajectory group demonstrated a larger anterior third ventricular diameter (1.43 vs 1.21 cm, p = 0.29). The single trajectory group trended toward a smaller tumor– anterior commissure interval (2.23 vs 2.51 cm, p = 0.24) and a larger dorsum sella–anterior commissure distance (1.67 vs 1.49 cm, p = 0.28).

Conclusions. These data confirm the safety and diagnostic efficacy of simultaneous ETV and biopsy for tumors of the pineal region. Although no statistically significant differences were seen in the authors’ recorded measurements, several trends suggest a role for a tailored approach to selecting a single or dual trajectory approach when using a rigid endoscope

Biopsy versus resection in the management of malignant gliomas: a systematic review and meta-analysis

J Neurosurg 112:1020–1032, 2010. DOI: 10.3171/2009.7.JNS09758

The aim of this study was to answer the question whether quality of life and progression-free and overall survival are increased in adults with supratentorial malignant glioma who are treated with cytoreductive resection as compared with those who only undergo biopsy.

Methods. A literature search of the electronic databases MEDLINE, EMBASE, and CENTRAL was performed to identify relevant studies published before May 2008. Hand-searching of reference lists of the identified studies and relevant review articles was also performed. A study was considered eligible, regardless of study design (prospective or retrospective), if: 1) quality of life and/or progression-free and/or overall survival was compared among adult patients undergoing biopsy or resection, and 2) patient age and Karnofsky Performance Scale scores were not significantly different among the 2 groups compared.

Results. One randomized controlled trial and 4 retrospective studies (involving a total of 1111 patients) were found eligible for this systematic review. A meta-analysis of the eligible studies demonstrated a significant increase in overall survival in the patients treated with resection instead of biopsy (hazard ratio 0.61, 95% CI 0.52–0.71, p < 0.0001, fixed-effect model). Although statistical pooling was not feasible, the available data suggest that quality of life was increased in patients treated with resection rather than biopsy, while there did not seem to be any significant difference in progression-free survival between the 2 groups.

Conclusions. Based on the best available evidence, it appears that cytoreductive resection in adults with supratentorial malignant glioma is associated with improved overall survival as compared with biopsy. However, well designed prospective studies are needed for more solid conclusions to be drawn.

Biopsy versus resection in the management of malignant gliomas

DOI: 10.3171/2009.7.JNS09758

The aim of this study was to answer the question whether quality of life and progression-free and overall survival are increased in adults with supratentorial malignant glioma who are treated with cytoreductive resection as compared with those who only undergo biopsy.

Methods. A literature search of the electronic databases MEDLINE, EMBASE, and CENTRAL was performed to identify relevant studies published before May 2008. Hand-searching of reference lists of the identified studies and relevant review articles was also performed. A study was considered eligible, regardless of study design (prospective or retrospective), if: 1) quality of life and/or progression-free and/or overall survival was compared among adult patients undergoing biopsy or resection, and 2) patient age and Karnofsky Performance Scale scores were not significantly different among the 2 groups compared.

Results. One randomized controlled trial and 4 retrospective studies (involving a total of 1111 patients) were found eligible for this systematic review. A meta-analysis of the eligible studies demonstrated a significant increase in overall survival in the patients treated with resection instead of biopsy (hazard ratio 0.61, 95% CI 0.52–0.71, p <0.0001, fixed-effect model). Although statistical pooling was not feasible, the available data suggest that quality of life was increased in patients treated with resection rather than biopsy, while there did not seem to be any significant difference in progression-free survival between the 2 groups.

Conclusions. Based on the best available evidence, it appears that cytoreductive resection in adults with supratentorial malignant glioma is associated with improved overall survival as compared with biopsy. However, welldesigned prospective studies are needed for more solid conclusions to be drawn.