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Hasan A. Zaidi, Kenneth De Los Reyes, Garni Barkhoudarian, Zachary N. Litvack, Wenya Linda Bi, Jordina Rincon-Torroella, Srinivasan Mukundan Jr., Ian F. Dunn and Edward R. Laws Jr.


Endoscopic skull base surgery has become increasingly popular among the skull base surgery community, with improved illumination and angled visualization potentially improving tumor resection rates. Intraoperative MRI (iMRI) is used to detect residual disease during the course of the resection. This study is an investigation of the utility of 3-T iMRI in combination with transnasal endoscopy with regard to gross-total resection (GTR) of pituitary macroadenomas.


The authors retrospectively reviewed all endoscopic transsphenoidal operations performed in the Advanced Multimodality Image Guided Operating (AMIGO) suite from November 2011 to December 2014. Inclusion criteria were patients harboring presumed pituitary macroadenomas with optic nerve or chiasmal compression and visual loss, operated on by a single surgeon.


Of the 27 patients who underwent transsphenoidal resection in the AMIGO suite, 20 patients met the inclusion criteria. The endoscope alone, without the use of iMRI, would have correctly predicted extent of resection in 13 (65%) of 20 cases. Gross-total resection was achieved in 12 patients (60%) prior to MRI. Intraoperative MRI helped convert 1 STR and 4 NTRs to GTRs, increasing the number of GTRs from 12 (60%) to 16 (80%).


Despite advances in visualization provided by the endoscope, the incidence of residual disease can potentially place the patient at risk for additional surgery. The authors found that iMRI can be useful in detecting unexpected residual tumor. The cost-effectiveness of this tool is yet to be determined.

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Edward H. Oldfield

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Zachary N. Litvack, Gabriel Zada and Edward R. Laws Jr.


As demonstrated by histological and neuroimaging studies, pituitary adenomas have a capillary vascular density that differs significantly from that of surrounding structures. The authors hypothesized that intraoperative indocyanine green (ICG) fluorescence endoscopy could be used to visually differentiate tumor from surrounding tissues, including normal pituitary gland and dura.


After institutional review board approval, 16 patients undergoing endoscopic transsphenoidal surgery for benign pituitary lesions were prospectively enrolled in the study. A standard endoscopic endonasal approach to the sella was completed. Each patient then underwent endoscopic examination of the sellar dura and then the exposed pituitary adenoma after ICG bolus injection (12.5–25 mg). This examination was performed using a custom endoscope with a near-infrared light source and excitation wavelength filter.


The authors successfully recorded ICG fluorescence from sellar dura, pituitary, and surrounding structures in 12 of 16 patients enrolled. There were 3 technical failures of intraoperative ICG endoscopy, and 1 patient was excluded following discovery of a dye cross-allergy. A standard dose of 25 mg of ICG in 10 ml of aqueous solution optimized visualization of sellar region microvasculature within 45 seconds of peripheral bolus injection. Adenoma was less fluorescent than normal pituitary gland. Dural invasion by tumor was identifiable by a marked increase in fluorescence compared with native dura. The ICG endoscopic examination added 15–20 minutes of operative time under general anesthesia. There were no complications that resulted from use of ICG or the fluorescent light source.


Indocyanine green fluorescence endoscopy shows promise as an intraoperative modality to visually distinguish pituitary tumors from normal tissue and to visually identify areas of dural invasion, thereby facilitating complete tumor resection and minimizing injury to surrounding structures. These results support the continued development of fluorescence endoscopic resection techniques.