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Volker M. Tronnier, Matteo M. Bonsanto, Andreas Staubert, Michael Knauth, Stefan Kunze and Christian R. Wirtz

Object

The authors undertook a study to compare two intraoperative imaging modalities, low-field magnetic resonance (MR) imaging and a prototype of a three-dimensional (3D)–navigated ultrasonography in terms of imaging quality in lesion detection and intraoperative resection control.

Methods

Low-field MR imaging was used for intraoperative resection control and update of navigational data in 101 patients with supratentorial gliomas. Thirty-five patients with different lesions underwent surgery in which the prototype of a 3D-navigated ultrasonography system was used. A prospective comparative study of both intraoperative imaging modalities was initiated with the first seven cases presented here.

In 35 patients (70%) in whom ultrasonography was performed, accurate tumor delineation was demonstrated prior to tumor resection. In the remaining 30% comparison of preoperative MR imaging data and ultrasonography data allowed sufficient anatomical localization to be achieved. Detection of metastases and high-grade gliomas and intra-operative delineation of tumor remnants were comparable between both imaging modalities. In one case of a low-grade glioma better visibility was achieved with ultrasonography. However, intraoperative findings after resection were still difficult to interpret with ultrasonography alone most likely due to the beginning of a learning curve.

Conclusions

Based on these preliminary results, intraoperative MR imaging remains superior to intraoperative ultrasonography in terms of resection control in glioma surgery. Nevertheless, the different features (different planes of slices, any-plane slicing, and creation of a 3D volume and matching of images) of this new ultrasonography system make this tool a very attractive alternative. The intended study of both imaging modalities will hopefully allow a comparison regarding sensitivity and specificity of intraoperative tumor remnant detection, as well as cost effectiveness.

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Ralph W. Koenig, Thomas E. Schmidt, Christian P. G. Heinen, Christian R. Wirtz, Thomas Kretschmer, Gregor Antoniadis and Maria T. Pedro

Object

Surgical treatment of nerve lesions in continuity remains difficult, even in the most experienced hands. The regenerative potential of those injuries can be evaluated by intraoperative electrophysiological studies and/or intraneural dissection. The present study examines the value of intraoperative high-frequency ultrasound as an imaging tool for decision making in the management of traumatic nerve lesions in continuity.

Methods

Intraoperative high-frequency ultrasound was applied to 19 traumatic or iatrogenic nerve lesions of differing extents. The information obtained was correlated with intraoperative electrophysiological, microsurgical intraneural dissection, and histopathological findings in resected nerve segments.

Results

The intraoperative application of high-resolution, high-frequency ultrasound enabled morphological examination of nerve lesions in continuity, with good image quality. The assessment of the severity of the underlying nerve injury matched perfectly with the judgment obtained from intraoperative electrophysiological studies. Both intraneural nerve dissection and neuropathological examination of the resected nerve segments confirmed the sonographic findings. In addition, intraoperative ultrasound proved to be very time efficient.

Conclusions

With intraoperative ultrasound, the extent of traumatic peripheral nerve lesions can be examined morphologically for the first time. It is a promising, noninvasive method that seems capable of assessing the type (intraneural/perineural) and grade of nerve fibrosis. Therefore, in combination with intraoperative neurophysiological studies, intraoperative high-resolution ultrasound may represent a major tool for noninvasive assessment of the regenerative potential of a nerve lesion.

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Jan Coburger, Jens Engelke, Angelika Scheuerle, Dietmar R. Thal, Michal Hlavac, Christian Rainer Wirtz and Ralph König

Object

High-grade gliomas (HGGs) and metastasis (MET) are the most common intracranial lesions in neurosurgical routine. Both of them show an invasive growth pattern extending into neural tissue beyond the margins of contrast enhancement on MRI. These “undetected” areas might be the origin of early tumor recurrence. The aim of the present study was to evaluate whether 5-aminolevulinic acid (5-ALA) fluorescence provides an additional benefit in detection of invasive tumor compared with intraoperative MRI (iMRI).

Methods

The authors prospectively enrolled 45 patients harboring contrast-enhancing lesions, in whom gross-total resection was intended. All patients had surgery in which iMRI and 5-ALA–guided resection were used following a specific protocol. First, a typical white light tumor resection was performed. Then, spatial location of residual fluorescence was marked. After that, an iMRI was performed and residual uptake of contrast was marked. Navigated biopsy samples were taken from all marked areas and from additional sites according to the surgeon's judgment. Cross tables and receiver operating characteristic curves were calculated, assessing performance of the imaging methods for tumor detection alone and for combined detection of infiltration zone and solid tumor (pathological tissue). Also, correlations of histopathological findings with imaging results were tested using Spearman rho.

Results

Thirty-four patients with HGGs and 11 with METs were enrolled. Three patients harboring a MET showed no 5-ALA enhancement and were excluded; 127 histopathological samples were harvested in the remaining patients. In HGG, sensitivity for tumor detection was significantly higher (p < 0.001) in 5-ALA (0.85) than in iMRI (0.41). Specificity was significantly lower (p < 0.001) in 5-ALA (0.43) than in iMRI (0.70). For detection of pathological tissue, 5-ALA significantly exceeded iMRI in specificity (0.80 vs 0.60) and sensitivity (0.91 vs 0.66) (p < 0.001). Imaging results of iMRI and 5-ALA did not correlate significantly; only 5-ALA showed a significant correlation with final histopathological diagnosis of the specimen and with typical histopathological features of HGGs. In METs, sensitivity and specificity for tumor detection were equal in 5-ALA and iMRI. Both techniques showed high values for sensitivity (0.75) and specificity (0.80). The odds ratio for detection of tumor tissue was 12 for both techniques. Concerning pathological tissue, no statistically significant difference was found either. Imaging results of iMRI and 5-ALA correlated significantly (p < 0.022), as with final histopathological diagnosis in METs.

Conclusions

In METs, due to the rate of nonenhancing lesions, the authors found no additional benefit of 5-ALA compared with iMRI. In HGG, imaging results of 5-ALA and iMRI are significantly different at the border zone; 5-ALA has a higher sensitivity and a lower specificity for tumor detection than Gd-DTPA–enhanced iMRI. For detection of infiltrating tumor at the border of the resection cavity, 5-ALA is superior to Gd-DTPA–enhanced iMRI concerning both sensitivity and specificity. Thus, use of 5-ALA in addition to iMRI might be beneficial to maximize extent of resection. Clinical synergistic effects will be evaluated in a prospective randomized trial.