Fluorescence-guided surgery for brain tumors

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5-aminolevulinic acid-induced protoporphyrin IX fluorescence was authorized in the EU for visualization of tumor tissue during surgery for WHO grade III and IV gliomas in 2007. It facilitates tumor identification and doubles the number of gross total resections that can be achieved in these tumors. The growing acceptance of fluorescence-guided surgery in malignant gliomas brings forward a substantial yield of data on many types of intracranial lesions. The following review summarizes the main findings of these publications and illustrates the limitations, caveats and future perspectives of 5-aminolevulinic acid-induced fluorescence in malignant glioma as well as in other brain neoplasms.

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