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Operations on the brain under visual control

Is visually controlled surgery more effective in removing brain tumors than non-visually controlled surgery?

Editor: Akhmetova Aigerim

Author: Aigerim Akhmetova



It is very important to remove as much of the tumor as possible, as in some types of brain tumors, this can help people live longer and feel better. However, removing a brain tumor can be difficult because the tumor either looks like normal brain tissue or is located next to brain tissue that is necessary for normal functioning. New techniques for monitoring tumours during surgery (called imaging) have been developed to help surgeons better identify tumours from normal brain tissue.

Four RCTs were found using different intraoperative imaging technologies: intraoperative magnetic resonance imaging (imri) (2 trials with 58 and 14 participants); fluorescence-controlled surgery using 5-aminolevulinic acid (5-ALA) (1 trial, 322 participants); and neuronavigation (1 trial, 45 participants).

Intraoperative imaging technologies, in particular the use of 5-ALA and imri, may be useful in increasing the degree of resection in patients with high-grade glioma. However, this is based on evidence with a low or very low degree of confidence. Further research is needed.