Stephanie Schipmann, Michael Müther, Louise Stögbauer, Sebastian Zimmer, Benjamin Brokinkel, Markus Holling, Oliver Grauer, Eric Suero Molina, Nils Warneke and Walter Stummer
High-grade glioma (HGG) prognosis remains dismal, with inevitable, mostly local recurrence. Regimens for improving local tumor control are therefore needed. Photodynamic therapy (PDT) using porfimer sodium has been investigated but was abandoned due to side effects and lack of survival benefits. Intracellular porphyrins induced by 5-aminolevulinic acid (5-ALA) are approved for fluorescence-guided resections (FGRs), but are also photosensitizers. Activated by light, they generate reactive oxygen species with resultant cytotoxicity. The authors present a combined approach of 5-ALA FGR and PDT.
After 5-ALA FGR in recurrent HGG, laser diffusors were strategically positioned inside the resection cavity. PDT was applied for 60 minutes (635 nm, 200 mW/cm diffusor, for 1 hour) under continuous irrigation for maintaining optical clarity and ventilation with 100% oxygen. MRI was performed at 24 hours, 14 days, and every 3 months after surgery, including diffusion tensor imaging and apparent diffusion coefficient maps.
Twenty patients were treated. One surgical site infection after treatment was noted at 6 months as the only adverse event. MRI revealed cytotoxic edema along resection margins in 16 (80%) of 20 cases, mostly annular around the cavity, corresponding to prior laser diffusor locations (mean volume 3.3 cm3). Edema appeared selective for infiltrated tissue or nonresected enhancing tumor. At the 14-day follow-up, enhancement developed in former regions of edema, in some cases vanishing after 4–5 months. Median progression-free survival (PFS) was 6 months (95% CI 4.8–7.2 months).
Combined 5-ALA FGR and PDT provides an innovative and safe method of local tumor control resulting in promising PFS. Further prospective studies are warranted to evaluate long-term therapeutic effects.
Eric Suero Molina, Christian Ewelt, Nils Warneke, Michael Schwake, Michael Müther, Stephanie Schipmann and Walter Stummer
Recent efforts to improve visualization of 5-aminolevulinic acid (5-ALA)–induced protoporphyrin IX (PPIX) fluorescence resulted in a dual-labeling technique, combining it with fluorescein sodium in a prototype setup. Fluorescein identifies regions with blood-brain barrier breakdown in gliomas. However, normally perfused and edematous brain fluoresces unselectively, with strong background enhancement. The aim of this study was to test the feasibility of a novel, integrated filter combination using porphyrins for selective tumor identification and fluorescein for background enhancement.
A microscope with a novel built-in filter system (YB 475) for visualizing both fluorescein and 5-ALA–induced porphyrins was used. Resection limits were identified with the conventional BLUE 400 filter system. Six patients harboring contrast ring-enhancing lesions were analyzed.
The complete surgical field could now be illuminated. Fluorescein was helpful for improving background visualization, and enhancing dura, edematous tissue, and cortex. Overlapping regions with both fluorophores harbored merged orange fluorescence. PPIX fluorescence was better visualized, even in areas beyond a normal working distance of approximately 25 cm, where the BLUE 400 filters recognized no or weak fluorescence.
The novel filter system improved general tissue brightness and background visualization, enhancing fluorescence-guided tumor resection. Furthermore, it appears promising from a scientific perspective, enabling the simultaneous and direct observation of areas with blood-brain barrier breakdown and PPIX fluorescence.
Michael Schwake, Stephanie Schipmann, Michael Müther, Louise Stögbauer, Uta Hanning, Peter B. Sporns, Christian Ewelt, Rainer Dziewas, Jens Minnerup, Markus Holling and Walter Stummer
Decompressive craniectomies (DCs) are performed on patients suffering large cerebral infarctions. The efficacy of this procedure has been demonstrated in several trials. In some cases, however, this procedure alone is not sufficient and patients still suffer refractory elevations of intracranial pressure (ICP). The goal of this study was to determine whether resection of infarcted tissue, termed strokectomy, performed as a second-look procedure after DC, improves outcome in selected cases.
The authors retrospectively evaluated data of patients who underwent a DC due to a cerebral infarction at their institution from 2009 to 2016, including patients who underwent a strokectomy procedure after DC. Clinical records, imaging data, outcome scores, and neurological symptoms were analyzed, and clinical outcomes and mortality rates in the strokectomy group were compared to those for similar patients in recently published randomized controlled trials.
Of 198 patients who underwent DC due to cerebral infarction, 12 patients underwent strokectomy as a second surgical procedure, with a median National Institutes of Health Stroke Scale (NIHSS) score of 19 for patients with versus 16 for those without secondary strokectomy (p = 0.029). Either refractory increases of ICP > 20 mm Hg or dilated pupils in addition to herniation visible on CT images were triggers for strokectomy surgery. Ten of 12 (83%) patients had infarctions in more than one territory (p < 0.001). After 12 months, 43% of patients had a good outcome according to the modified Rankin Scale (mRS) score (≤ 3). In the subgroup of patients suffering infarctions in more than one vascular territory, functional outcome after 12 months was better (mRS ≤ 3 in 40% of patients in comparison to 9%; p = 0.027). A 1:3 case-control analysis matched to age, side of infarction, sex, and vascular territory confirmed these results (mRS ≤ 3, 42% in comparison to 11%; p = 0.032). Age, NIHSS score on admission, and number of vascular territories involved were identified as risk factors in multivariate analysis (p < 0.05). Patients in the strokectomy group had more infections (p < 0.001). According to these results, the authors developed a scale (Münster Stroke Score, 0–6 points) to predict whether patients might benefit from additional strokectomy. Receiver-operating characteristic (ROC) curve analysis revealed an area under the curve (AUC) of 0.86 (p < 0.001). The authors recommend a Münster Stroke Score of ≥ 3 as a cutoff, with a sensitivity of 92% and specificity of 66%, for predicting benefit from strokectomy.
In this study in comparison to former studies, mortality rates were lower and clinical outcome was comparable to that of previously published trials regarding large cerebral infarctions. Second surgery including strokectomy may help achieve better outcomes, especially in cases of infarction of more than one vascular territory.