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Spectral complexity of 5-ALA induced PpIX fluorescence in guided surgery: a clinical study towards the discrimination of healthy tissue and margin boundaries in high and low grade gliomas

Gliomas are diffuse and hard to cure brain tumors. A major reason for their aggressive behavior is their property to infiltrate the brain. The gross appearance of the infiltrative component is comparable to normal brain, constituting an obstacle to extended surgical resection. 5-ALA induced PpIX fluorescence measurements enable gains in sensitivity to detect infiltrated cells, but still lack sensitivity to get accurate discrimination between the tumor margin and healthy tissue. In this fluorescence spectroscopic study, we assume that two states of PpIX contribute to total fluorescence to get better discrimination of healthy tissues against tumor margins. We reveal that fluorescence in low-density margins of high-grade gliomas or in low-grade gliomas is mainly influenced by the second state of PpIX centered at 620 nm. We thus conclude that consideration of the contributions of both states to total fluorescence can help to improve fluorescence-guided resection of gliomas by discriminating healthy tissues from tumor margins.