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Recent Clinical Article

Image Guidance in Cranial Neurosurgery: How a Six-Ton Magnet and Fluorescent Colors Make Brain Tumor Surgery Better

Missouri Medicine | January/February 2020 | 117:1, Science of Medicine Feature Series

Michael R. Chicoine, MD
Peter Sylvester, MD
Alexander T. Yahanda, BS
Amar Shah, MD

Abstract: Maximal safe resection can improve patient outcomes for a variety of brain tumor types including low- and high-grade gliomas, pituitary adenomas, and other pathologies. numerous intraoperative adjuncts exist to guide surgeons with maximizing extent of resection. three distinct strategies exist including: 1) surgical navigation; 2) intraoperative imaging; and 3) tumor fluorescence. surgical navigation involves registrationof high-resolution three- dimensional imaging to the patient’s cranial surface anatomy, allowing real-time localization of tumor and brain structures. intraoperative imaging devices like intraoperative magnetic resonance imaging (iMri), intraoperative computed tomography (iCt), 3-D fluoroscopy, and intraoperative ultrasonography (ius) allow near real time visualization to assess the extent of resection. intraoperative fluorescence via intravenous fluorescein or oral 5-aminolevulinic acid (5-ALA) causes brain tumors to “light up”, which can be viewed through surgical optics using selective filters and specific wavelength light sources. A general overview, as well as implementation and utilization of some of these image guidance strategies at washington university and by siteman Cancer Center neurosurgeons at Barnes Jewish Hospital, is discussed in this review.