Differentiation of pituitary neuroendocrine tumor (PitNET) tissue from surrounding normal tissue during surgery is challenging. A number of fluorescent agents is available for visualization of tissue discrepancy, with the potential of improving total tumor resection. This review evaluates the availability, clinical and technical applicability of the various fluorescent agents within the field of pituitary surgery. According to PRISMA guidelines, a systematic review was performed to identify reports describing results of in vivo application of fluorescent agents. In this review, 15 publications were included. Sodium Fluorescein (FNa) was considered in two studies. The first study reported noticeable fluorescence in adenoma tissue, the second demonstrated the strongest fluorescence in non-functioning pituitary adenomas. 5-Aminolevulinic acid (5-ALA) was investigated in three studies. One study compared laser-based optical biopsy system (OBS) with photo-diagnostic filter (PD) and found that the OBS was able to detect all microadenomas, even when MRI was negative. The second study retrospectively analyzed twelve pituitary adenomas and found only one positive for fluorescence. The third investigated fifteen pituitary adenomas of which one displayed vague fluorescence. Indocyanine green (ICG) was researched in four studies with variable results. Second-Window ICG yielded no significant difference between functioning and non-functioning adenomas in one study, while a second study displayed 4 times higher fluorescence in tumor tissue than in normal tissue. In three studies, OTL38 showed potential in non-functioning pituitary adenomas. At present, evidence for fluorescent agents to benefit total resection of PitNETs is lacking. OTL38 can potentially serve as a selective fluorescent agent in non-functioning pituitary adenomas in the near future.
Keywords: Transsphenoidal surgery—pituitary adenoma—intraoperative fluorescence—fluorescence-guided surgery.
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