Resection of the contrast-enhancing tumor in diffuse gliomas bordering eloquent areas using electrophysiology and 5-ALA fluorescence: evaluation of resection rates and neurological outcome-a systematic review and meta-analysis

Neurosurg Rev. 2023 Jul 27;46(1):185. doi: 10.1007/s10143-023-02064-7.


Independently, both 5-aminolevulinic acid (5-ALA) and intraoperative neuromonitoring (IONM) have been shown to improve outcomes with high-grade gliomas (HGG). The interplay and overlap of both techniques are scarcely reported in the literature. We performed a systematic review and meta-analysis focusing on the concomitant use of 5-ALA and intraoperative mapping for HGG located within eloquent cortex. Using PRISMA guidelines, we reviewed articles published between May 2006 and December 2022 for patients with HGG in eloquent cortex who underwent microsurgical resection using intraoperative mapping and 5-ALA fluorescence guidance. Extent of resection was the primary outcome. The secondary outcome was new neurological deficit at day 1 after surgery and persistent at day 90 after surgery. Overall rate of complete resection of the enhancing tumor (CRET) was 73.3% (range: 61.9-84.8%, p < .001). Complete 5-ALA resection was performed in 62.4% (range: 28.1-96.7%, p < .001). Surgery was stopped due to mapping findings in 20.5% (range: 15.6-25.4%, p < .001). Neurological decline at day 1 after surgery was 29.2% (range: 9.8-48.5%, p = 0.003). Persistent neurological decline at day 90 after surgery was 4.6% (range: 0.4-8.7%, p = 0.03). Maximal safe resection guided by IONM and 5-ALA for high-grade gliomas in eloquent areas is achievable in a high percentage of cases (73.3% CRET and 62.4% complete 5-ALA resection). Persistent neurological decline at postoperative day 90 is as low as 4.6%. A balance between 5-ALA and IONM should be maintained for a better quality of life while maximizing oncological control.

Keywords: 5-ALA; Eloquent; Fluorescence; High-grade gliomas; Intraoperative neuromonitoring; Mapping.

Publication types

  • Meta-Analysis
  • Systematic Review
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Aminolevulinic Acid
  • Brain Neoplasms* / pathology
  • Brain Neoplasms* / surgery
  • Electrophysiology
  • Fluorescence
  • Glioma* / pathology
  • Glioma* / surgery
  • Humans
  • Quality of Life


  • Aminolevulinic Acid