Review of neurosurgical fluorescence imaging methodologies

Brian W. Pogue, Summer L. Gibbs-Strauss, Pablo A. Valdés, Kimberley S. Samkoe, David W. Roberts, Keith D. Paulsen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

107 Scopus citations


Fluorescence imaging in neurosurgery has a long historical development, with various biomarkers and biochemical agents being used, and numerous technological approaches. This review focuses on contrast agents, summarizing endogenous fluorescence, exogenously stimulated fluorescence, and exogenous contrast agents, and then on tools used for imaging. It ends with a summary of key clinical trials that lead to consensus studies. The practical utility of protoporphyrin IX (PpIX) as stimulated by administration of δ -aminolevulinic acid has had substantial pilot clinical studies and basic science research completed. Recently, multicenter clinical trials using PpIX fluorescence to guide resection have shown efficacy for improved short-term survival. Exogenous agents are being developed and tested preclinically, and hopefully hold the potential for long-term survival benefit if they provide additional capabilities for resection of microinvasive disease or certain tumor subtypes that do not produce PpIX or help delineate low-grade tumors. The range of technologies used for measurement and imaging varies widely, with most clinical trials being carried out with either point probes or modified surgical microscopes. Currently, optimized probe approaches are showing efficacy in clinical trials, and fully commercialized imaging systems are emerging, which will clearly help to lead adoption into neurosurgical practice.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number5437303
Pages (from-to)493-505
Number of pages13
JournalIEEE Journal on Selected Topics in Quantum Electronics
Issue number3
StatePublished - May 2010
Externally publishedYes


  • Brain tumor
  • Fluorescence
  • Glioma
  • Imaging
  • Microscopy
  • Neurosurgery
  • Protoporphyrin
  • Surgery

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ceramics and Composites
  • Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics
  • Materials Chemistry
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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