Send to

Choose Destination
World J Surg Oncol. 2017 Sep 29;15(1):179. doi: 10.1186/s12957-017-1239-8.

Intraoperative 5-aminolevulinic acid-induced photodynamic diagnosis of metastatic brain tumors with histopathological analysis.

Author information

Department of Neurosurgery, Osaka Medical College, 2-7 Daigaku-machi, Takatsuki, Osaka, 569-8686, Japan.
Department of Neurosurgery, Osaka Medical College, 2-7 Daigaku-machi, Takatsuki, Osaka, 569-8686, Japan.



Fluorescence-guided surgery using 5-aminolevulinic acid (5-ALA) is a promising real-time navigation method in the surgical resection of malignant gliomas. In order to determine whether this method is applicable to metastatic brain tumors, we evaluated the usefulness of intraoperative fluorescence patterns and histopathological features in patients with metastatic brain tumors.


We retrospectively reviewed the cases of 16 patients with metastatic brain tumors who underwent intraoperative 5-ALA fluorescence-guided resection. Patients were given 20 mg/kg of 5-ALA orally 2 h prior to the surgery. High-powered excitation illumination and a low-pass filter (420, 450, or 500 nm) were used to visualize the fluorescence of protoporphyrin IX (PpIX), the 5-ALA metabolite. We evaluated the relationships between the fluorescence and histopathological findings in both tumoral and peritumoral brain tissue.


Tumoral PpIX fluorescence was seen in only 5 patients (31%); in the remaining 11 patients (69%), there was no fluorescence in the tumor bulk itself. In 14 patients (86%), vague fluorescence was seen in peritumoral brain tissue, at a thickness of 2-6 mm. The histopathological examination found cancer cell invasion of adjacent brain tissue in 75% of patients (12/16), at a mean ± SD depth of 1.4 ± 1.0 mm (range 0.2-3.4 mm) from the microscopic border of the tumor. There was a moderate correlation between vague fluorescence in adjacent brain tissue and the depth of cancer cell invasion (P = 0.004).


Peritumoral fluorescence may be a good intraoperative indicator of tumor extent, preceding more complete microscopic gross total resection.


Institutional Review Board of Osaka Medical College No. 42, registered February 17, 1998, and No. 300, registered April 1, 2008. They were retrospectively registered.


5-Aminolevulinic acid (5-ALA); Adjacent brain tissue; Cell invasion; Metastatic brain tumor; Photodynamic diagnosis (PDD); Protoporphyrin IX (PpIX)

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for BioMed Central Icon for PubMed Central
Loading ...
Support Center