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Sodium fluorescein in pediatric oncological neurosurgery: a pilot study on 50 children

Childs Nerv Syst. 2022 Dec 1. doi: 10.1007/s00381-022-05765-4. Online ahead of print.


BACKGROUND: Sodium fluorescein (SF) is currently considered a valid intraoperative adjunct in the resection of high-grade brain lesions in adults. Experiences in pediatric groups and in low-grade gliomas and other low-grade lesions are still limited in literature, and subjective evaluation of fluorescence is still a limitation.

MATERIAL AND METHODS: This study retrospectively reviewed all patients with brain or spine lesions operated on from September 2021 to July 2022 in the Pediatric Neurosurgery Unit of Hôpital Femme Mère Enfant, Lyon, who had received 5 mg/kg of 10%. Surgery was performed using a YELLOW560 filter at crucial times. At the end of surgery, the first operator completed a questionnaire, including his opinion on whether SF had been useful in tumor resection, recorded as a binary variable. Post hoc, surgical images were reviewed using ImageJ, an open-source Java image processing platform. In order to compare independent discrete variables, we applied the Student’s t test, and we applied the Chi-square or Fisher exact test for binary variables. A threshold of p < 0.05 was set for statistical significance.

RESULTS: We included 50 pediatric patients (0.2-17.6 years old). Forty/50 lesions showed SF uptake (80%). The differentiation between healthy and affected tissue, thanks to SF, subjectively evaluated by the surgeon, had as objective counterpart the statistically significant higher brightness of green in lesions, registered by the software (p < 0.001). SF overall allowed a good differentiation in 33/50 lesions, and overall utility of SF has been noted in 67% of them. When specifically considering gliomas, overall utility reached 75%.

CONCLUSION: SF is a feasible, safe, and useful intraoperative adjunct in pediatric neurosurgery. In particular, it seems to have a promising role in some low-grade infiltrating glial tumors. The subjective evaluation of fluorescence seems to be reliable with respect to image analyses software.

PMID:36454309 | DOI:10.1007/s00381-022-05765-4

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