Fluorescein-Guided Resection of High Grade Gliomas: A Meta-Analysis

Emily J. Smith, Kavita Gohil, Charee M. Thompson, Anant Naik, Wael Hassaneen

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Background: High-grade gliomas (HGGs) have a poor prognosis despite current standard of care of surgery, chemotherapy, and radiation therapy. Achieving gross total resection (GTR) has been found to prolong survival in these patients. Intraoperative fluorescent agents are often used to aid in the resection of HGGs. One commonly used fluorescent agent is fluorescein sodium, which is U.S. Food and Drug Administration–approved for ocular surgeries and has a better side effect profile and is less costly than 5-aminolevulinic acid (5-ALA). In this meta-analysis, we provide statistical evidence of the efficacy in using fluorescein for HGG resection. Methods: Following the PRISMA framework, we assessed 119 reports from PubMed, Medline (Ovid), and BIOSIS Citation Index and found 21 eligible studies for meta-analysis, assessing the rates of GTR with fluorescein-guided resection of HGGs. Results: A pooled cohort of 336 patients underwent fluorescein-guided HGG resection with a GTR rate of 81% (95% confidence interval 73%–89%; P < 0.001). Ten case-controlled studies were analyzed, showing a 29.5% increase in GTR rate in the fluorescein group compared with non-fluorescein-guided surgeries. Conclusions: This meta-analysis shows that fluorescein-guided surgery improves GTR rates of HGGs when compared with non-fluorescence guided surgery and has similar GTR rates when compared with reported 5-ALA-guided resection rates.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)181-188.e7
JournalWorld Neurosurgery
StatePublished - Nov 2021


  • 5-Aminolevulinic acid
  • Fluorescein
  • High-grade glioma
  • Meta-analysis
  • Resection

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Clinical Neurology


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