Use of 5-ALA fluorescence in stereotactic biopsy of brain lesions

Takeaway

  • Use of 5-ALA fluorescence during stereotactic biopsy of unclear intracranial pathologies increased the diagnostic yield from 74% to over 90% when used in tandem with frozen sections.

Why this matters

  • Five-aminolaevulinic acid (5-ALA) is a fluorescent molecule used to guide surgical resection of gliomas, but also fluoresces in lymphoma tissue and brain metastasis tissue; therefore, 5-ALA is able to identify three of the most common diagnoses of unclear intracranial pathologies.

  • Using 5-ALA during stereotactic biopsy could help to increase the chance that useful diagnostic tissue is obtained whilst not increasing risks to the patient.