Malignant disease of the CNS is the primary etiology for deaths resulting from cancer in the pediatric population. It has been well documented that outcomes of pediatric neurosurgery rely on the extent of tumor resection. Therefore, techniques that improve surgical results have significant clinical implications. Intraoperative ultrasound (IOUS) offers real-time surgical guidance and a more accurate means for detecting residual tumor that is inconspicuous to the naked eye. The objective of this study was to evaluate the correlation of extent of resection between IOUS and postoperative MRI. The authors measured the correlation of extent of resection, negative predictive value, and sensitivity of IOUS and compared them with those of MRI.
This study consisted of a retrospective review of the medical charts of all pediatric patients who underwent neurosurgical treatment of a tumor between August 2009 and July 2015 at Albany Medical Center. Included were patients who were aged ≤ 21 years, who underwent brain or spinal tumor resection, for whom IOUS was used during the tumor resection, and for whom postoperative MRI (with and without contrast) was performed within 1 week of surgery.
Sixty-two patients met inclusion criteria for the study (33 males, mean age 10.0 years). The IOUS results very significantly correlated with postoperative MRI results (φ = 0.726; p = 0.000000011; negative predictive value 86.3% [95% CI 73.7%–94.3%]). These results exemplify a 71% overall gross-total resection rate and 80% intended gross-total resection rate with the use of IOUS (i.e., excluding cases performed only for debulking purposes).
The use of IOUS may play an important role in achieving a greater extent of resection by providing real-time information on tumor volume and location in the setting of brain shift throughout the course of an operation. The authors support the use of IOUS in pediatric CNS tumor surgery to improve clinical outcomes at low cost with minimal additional operating-room time and no identified additional risk.