Metabolic imaging tools such as 5-ALA fluorescence-guided resection and navigated FET-PET were helpful for the resection of complex-shaped, recurrent skull base meningioma. 5-ALA fluorescence was useful to dissect the adherent interface between tumor and brain. Furthermore, it helped to delineate tumor margins in the nasal cavity. FET-PET improved the assessment of bony and dural infiltration. We hypothesize that these imaging technologies may reduce recurrence rates through better visualization of tumor tissue that might be left unintentionally. This has to be verified in larger, prospective trials 4).
Tumor fluorescence can occur in benign meningiomas (WHO grade I) as well as in WHO grade II and WHO grade III meningiomas. Most of the reviewed studies report fluorescence of the main tumor mass with high sensitivity and specificity. However, different parts of the same tumor can present with a different fluorescent pattern (heterogenic fluorescence). Quantitative probe fluorescence can be superior, especially in meningiomas with difficult anatomical accessibility. However, only one study was able to consistently correlate resected tissue with histopathological results and nonspecific fluorescence of healthy brain tissue remains a confounder. The use of 5-ALA as a tool to guide resection of intracranial meningiomas remains experimental, especially in cases with tumor recurrence. The principle of intraoperative fluorescence as a real-time method to achieve complete resection is appealing, but the usefulness of 5-ALA is questionable. 5-ALA in intracranial meningioma surgery should only be used in a protocolled prospective and long-term study 5).