New Device May Help Surgeons Resect Brain Tumors

Fluorescence spectroscopy helps neurosurgeons identify hard-to-see tumor tissue

MONDAY, Jan. 31 (HealthDay News) -- A newly developed optical touch pointer (OTP) used to differentiate between healthy tissue and tumor tissue by means of fiber-optic fluorescence spectroscopy can help surgeons during resection of malignant brain tumors, according to a study published in the January issue of Lasers in Surgery and Medicine.

Johan C.O. Richter, M.D., of Linkoping University in Sweden, and colleagues evaluated the clinical performance of the OTP. The OTP was evaluated in nine patients undergoing standard resection for possible glioblastoma multiforme tumors using white light microscopy and ultrasound-based navigation. Biopsies, ultrasound images, and visual inspection were compared to fluorescence ratios obtained from the OTP.

Researchers found that the OTP successfully identified and differentiated between healthy tissue and tumor tissue. The fluorescence ratio was zero outside the tumor, low in the gliotic edema zone around the tumor, increased in the marginal zone, and highest in the solid tumor tissue. In the necrotic tissue in the tumor's center, the fluorescence ratio was zero.

"The OTP can be used in combination with ultrasound-based navigation and may help to determine whether to resect otherwise not identifiable tissue," the authors write.

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