Confocal microscopy for the histological fluorescence pattern of a recurrent atypical meningioma: Case report

Wesley J. Whitson, Pablo A. Valdes, Brent T. Harris, Keith D. Paulsen, David W. Roberts

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

22 Scopus citations


BACKGROUND AND IMPORTANCE:: Fluorescence-guided resection with 5-aminolevulinic acid (5-ALA), which has shown promising results in the resection of malignant gliomas, has been used for meningioma resection in an attempt to more clearly delineate the tumor margin. However, no article has investigated the fluorescence pattern of meningiomas on a histological level. Understanding the microscopic pattern of fluorescence could help assess the precision and utility of using 5-ALA for these tumors. We present the case of a recurrent atypical meningioma operated on with 5-ALA fluorescence-guided resection for delineation of tumor tissue from surrounding uninvolved dura. CLINICAL PRESENTATION:: A 53-year-old woman presented with recurrent atypical meningioma of the falx. Prior treatment included surgical resection 6 years earlier with subsequent fractionated radiation therapy and radiosurgery for tumor progression. The patient was given 5-ALA 20 mg/kg body weight dissolved in 100 mL water 3 hours before induction of anesthesia. Intraoperative fluorescence was coregistered with preoperative imaging. Neuropathological analysis of the resected falx with confocal microscopy enabled correlation of fluorescence with the extent of tumor on a histological level. Conclusion: Fluorescence guidance allowed clear intraoperative delineation of tumor tissue from adjacent, uninvolved dura. On a microscopic level, there was a very close correlation of fluorescence with tumor, but some tumor cells did not fluoresce.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)E1768-E1772
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 2011
Externally publishedYes


  • 5-ALA
  • Brain tumor
  • Contrast enhancement
  • Fluorescence-guided resection
  • Meningioma
  • PpIX

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Clinical Neurology


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