Use of intraoperative fluorescein sodium fluorescence to improve the accuracy of tissue diagnosis during stereotactic needle biopsy of high-grade gliomas

Roberto Rey-Dios, Eyas M. Hattab, Aaron A. Cohen-Gadol

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

30 Scopus citations


Background: Stereotactic needle biopsy is valuable for tissue diagnosis of suspected high-grade gliomas, but limited by a sampling error that can lead to inappropriate grading of the tumor or failure to provide diagnosis. Increasing the number of biopsy attempts can increase morbidity. The authors designed a protocol to increase safety and efficiency of the procedure. Methods: Six consecutive patients with suspected high-grade gliomas who were not candidates for cytoreductive surgery underwent fluorescein-guided stereotactic needle biopsy. All received an injection of 3 mg/kg fluorescein sodium during anesthesia induction. Samples were obtained and observed under a microscope-integrated fluorescent module. If the initial specimens were fluorescent, the procedure was complete if the pathologist confirmed diagnostic tissue. Additional specimens were obtained only at the pathologist's request. An independent neuropathologist later analyzed and graded samples for diagnostic value, tumor, and necrosis. This information was correlated to the degree of intraoperative fluorescent signal in biopsy samples. Results: During six biopsy procedures, 26 specimens were obtained: 15 (58 %) fluorescent and 11 (42 %) nonfluorescent. All fluorescent specimens contained diagnostic tissue appropriate for tumor grading. Of 11 nonfluorescent specimens, four (36 %) did not contain tumor, three (27 %) contained minor hypercellularity or gliosis, and four (36 %) contained tumor with a high proportion of necrosis. All six tumors were diagnosed as glioblastoma multiforme. The sensitivity and specificity for fluorescein fluorescence was 79 % and 100 %, respectively. Conclusions: Fluorescein fluorescence may improve diagnostic accuracy and expedite stereotactic biopsy procedures.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1071-1075
Number of pages5
JournalActa Neurochirurgica
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 2014



  • Fluorescein sodium
  • Fluorescence
  • High-grade glioma
  • Stereotactic brain biopsy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology
  • Surgery
  • Medicine(all)

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