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Photomed Laser Surg. 2018 May;36(5):266-272. doi: 10.1089/pho.2017.4384. Epub 2018 Feb 26.

Spectral Radiance of Protoporphyrin IX Fluorescence and Its Histopathological Implications in 5-Aminolevulinic Acid-Guided Surgery for Glioblastoma.

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1 Department of Neurosurgery, Osaka Medical College , Takatsuki, Japan .
2 Department of Pathology, Osaka Medical College , Takatsuki, Japan .



This study is intended to objectively clarify the relationship between the fluorescence intensity emitted by protoporphyrin IX (PpIX), which is a metabolite of 5-aminolevulinic acid (ALA), and histological findings during glioblastoma surgery.


ALA is widely used for the intraoperative detection of tumors. There are several reports about the fluorescence of PpIX and the histological findings of tumors, but judgments about the fluorescence intensity depend largely on the subjective sense of each surgeon.


We quantified the PpIX fluorescence intensity emitted from tissue specimens using a spectroradiometer and evaluated the relationship between a spectral radiance of 635 nm and the histopathological features of surgical specimens of glioblastoma. Surgical samples from glioblastoma patients consist of a strongly fluorescent area (SFA) or vaguely fluorescent area (VFA). Hematoxylin and eosin staining, immunohistochemical Ki-67, and CD31 staining were performed to evaluate the cell density, MIB-1 index, and vascularity, respectively. The fluorescence intensities of each sample were compared with each histopathological parameter.


Cell density, MIB-1 index, and total vascular area were significantly correlated with PpIX fluorescence radiance. 87.5% of SFA were judged to be tumor bulk consisting mostly of tumor cells and 12.5% peritumoral invaded brain. In the VFA, 100% of specimens were judged to be peritumoral invaded brain.


ALA-induced PpIX fluorescence has quantitatively correlated well with histopathological malignant features both in SFA and VFA. These findings suggest that not only SFA but also VFA should be removed to the highest extent that does not cause neurological symptoms.


5-aminolevulinic acid; fluorescence guided surgery; glioblastoma; protoporphyrin IX; spectral radiance

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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