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Probe-based three-dimensional confocal laser endomicroscopy of brain tumors: technical note

Authors Belykh E, Patel AA, Miller EJ, Bozkurt B, Yağmurlu K, Woolf EC, Scheck AC, Eschbacher JM, Nakaji P, Preul MC

Received 20 February 2018

Accepted for publication 15 May 2018

Published 30 August 2018 Volume 2018:10 Pages 3109—3123


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single anonymous peer review

Peer reviewer comments 4

Editor who approved publication: Dr Leylah Drusbosky

Supplementary video presented by Belykh et al.

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Evgenii Belykh,1 Arpan A Patel,1 Eric J Miller,1 Baran Bozkurt,1 Kaan Yağmurlu,1 Eric C Woolf,2 Adrienne C Scheck,2 Jennifer M Eschbacher,3 Peter Nakaji,1 Mark C Preul1

1Department of Neurosurgery, Barrow Neurological Institute, St. Joseph’s Hospital and Medical Center, Phoenix, AZ, USA; 2Neuro-Oncology Research, Barrow Neurological Institute, St. Joseph’s Hospital and Medical Center, Phoenix, AZ, USA; 3Department of Neuropathology, Barrow Neurological Institute, St. Joseph’s Hospital and Medical Center, Phoenix, AZ, USA

Background: Confocal laser endomicroscopy (CLE) is used during fluorescence-guided brain tumor surgery for intraoperative microscopy of tumor tissue with cellular resolution. CLE could augment and expedite intraoperative decision-making and potentially aid in diagnosis and removal of tumor tissue.
Objective: To describe an extension of CLE imaging modality that produces Z-stack images and three-dimensional (3D) pseudocolored volumetric images.
Materials and methods: Hand-held probe-based CLE was used to collect images from GL261-luc2 gliomas in C57BL/6 mice and from human brain tumor biopsies. The mice were injected with fluorescein sodium (FNa) before imaging. Patients received FNa intraoperatively, and biopsies were imaged immediately in the operating room. Some specimens were counterstained with acridine orange, acriflavine, or Hoechst and imaged on a benchtop confocal microscope. CLE images at various depths were acquired automatically, compiled, rendered into 3D volumes using Fiji software and reviewed by a neuropathologist and neurosurgeons.
Results: CLE imaging, Z-stack acquisition, and 3D image rendering were performed using 19 mouse gliomas and 31 human tumors, including meningiomas, gliomas, and pituitary adenomas. Volumetric images and Z-stacks provided additional information about fluorescence signal distribution, cytoarchitecture, and the course of abnormal vasculature.
Conclusion: 3D and Z-stack CLE imaging is a unique new option for live intraoperative endomicroscopy of brain tumors. The 3D images afford an increased spatial understanding of tumor cellular architecture and visualization of related structures compared with two-dimensional images. Future application of specific fluorescent probes could benefit from this rapid in vivo imaging technology for interrogation of brain tumor tissue.

Keywords: 3D microscopy, confocal laser endomicroscopy, fluorescein sodium, fluorescence-guided brain tumor resection, glioma, brain tumor, volumetric imaging

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