Intraoperative fluorescent imaging of intracranial tumors: A review

Milad Behbahaninia, Nikolay L. Martirosyan, Joseph Georges, Joshua A. Udovich, M. Yashar S. Kalani, Burt G. Feuerstein, Peter Nakaji, Robert F. Spetzler, Mark C. Preul

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

32 Scopus citations


A review of fluorescent imaging for intracranial neoplasms is presented. Complete resection of brain cancer is seldom possible because of the goal to preserve brain tissue and the inability to visualize individual infiltrative tumor cells. Verification of histology and identification of tumor invasion in macroscopically normal-appearing brain tissue determine prognosis after resection of malignant gliomas. Therefore, imaging modalities aim to facilitate intraoperative decision-making. Intraoperative fluorescent imaging techniques have the potential to enable precise histopathologic diagnosis and to detect tumor remnants in the operative field. Macroscopic fluorescence imaging is effective for gross tumor detection. Microscopic imaging techniques enhance the sensitivity of the macroscopic observations and provide real-time histological information. Further development of clinical grade fluorescent agents specifically targeting tumor cells could improve the diagnostic and prognostic yield of intraoperative imaging.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)517-528
Number of pages12
JournalClinical Neurology and Neurosurgery
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 2013


  • 5-Aminolevulinic acid
  • Brain tumors
  • Confocal endomicroscopy
  • Confocal microscopy
  • Fluorescence
  • Gliomas
  • Intraoperative imaging

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Clinical Neurology


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