Indexed on: 04 Dec '14Published on: 04 Dec '14Published in: Neurosurgical Review
Several studies published to date about glioma surgery have addressed the validity of using novel technologies for intraoperative guidance and potentially improved outcomes. However, most of these reports are limited by questionable methods and/or by their retrospective nature. In this work, we performed a systematic review of the literature to address the impact of intraoperative assistive technologies on the extent of resection (EOR) in glioma surgery, compared to conventional unaided surgery. We were also interested in two secondary outcome variables: functional status and progression-free survival. We primarily used PubMed to search for relevant articles. Studies were deemed eligible for our analysis if they (1) were prospective controlled studies; (2) used EOR as their primary target outcome, assessed by MRI volumetric analysis; and (3) had a homogeneous study population with clear inclusion criteria. Out of 493 publications identified in our initial search, only six matched all selection criteria for qualitative synthesis. Currently, the evidence points to 5-ALA, DTI functional neuronavigation, neurophysiological monitoring, and intraoperative MRI as the best tools for improving EOR in glioma surgery. Our sample and conclusions were limited by the fact that studies varied in terms of population characteristics and in their use of different volumetric analyses. We were also limited by the low number of prospective controlled trials available in the literature. Additional evidence-based high-quality studies assessing cost-effectiveness should be conducted to better determine the benefits of intraoperative assistive technologies in glioma surgery.