Usefulness of Ultrasound-Guided Microsurgery in Cavernous Angioma Removal

World Neurosurg. 2018 Aug;116:e414-e420. doi: 10.1016/j.wneu.2018.04.217. Epub 2018 May 9.


Background: Primary elements of surgical treatment of cavernous angiomas (CAs) are precise lesion identification and optimal trajectory determination. Navigation techniques allow for better results compared to microsurgery alone. In this study, we examined the benefits of intraoperative ultrasound (IOUS) use as an adjunct to standard localization systems.

Methods: We retrospectively analyzed 59 CAs, comparing outcomes in 2 groups of patients: 34 who underwent frame-based or frameless navigation-assisted microsurgery (no-IOUS group) and 25 who underwent IOUS-guided microsurgery associated with these techniques (IOUS group).

Results: The use of IOUS did not significantly increase the surgery time (mean, 172 ± 1.7 minutes in the IOUS group and 192.6 ± 11.5 in no-IOUS group; P = 0.08). In all 25 patients in the IOUS group, IOUS allowed for ready identification of CA as a hyperechoic mass. At the last follow-up (mean, 41.7 ± 3.5 months postsurgery), 95.2% of the IOUS group and 80.8% of the no-IOUS group had a modified Rankin Scale score of 0-1 and an Extended Glasgow Outcome Scale score of 7-8 (P = 0.2), with 100% and 64%, respectively, included in Engel outcome scale class IA (P = 0.006). Complete removal, as confirmed on postoperative magnetic resonance imaging, was achieved in all patients in the IOUS group and in almost all (97.1%; P = 0.4) patients in the no-IOUS group.

Conclusions: IOUS is a valid tool for the intraoperative identification of CAs. Implementation of standard localization methods with IOUS guidance was associated with complete resection in all cases, without increasing surgical time. Compared with microsurgery without IOUS guidance, long-term functional outcomes showed better trends, and the epilepsy-free rate was significantly higher.

Keywords: Cavernomas; Cavernous angioma; Frame-based surgery; Frameless-navigation surgery; Intraoperative ultrasound; Ultrasound-guided surgery.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Brain Neoplasms / diagnostic imaging*
  • Brain Neoplasms / surgery
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Hemangioma, Cavernous / diagnostic imaging*
  • Hemangioma, Cavernous / surgery
  • Humans
  • Intraoperative Neurophysiological Monitoring / methods*
  • Intraoperative Neurophysiological Monitoring / statistics & numerical data
  • Male
  • Microsurgery / methods*
  • Microsurgery / statistics & numerical data
  • Middle Aged
  • Operative Time
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Ultrasonography, Interventional / methods*
  • Ultrasonography, Interventional / statistics & numerical data
  • Young Adult