Minim Invasive Neurosurg 1999; 42(3): 123-127
DOI: 10.1055/s-2008-1053383
© Georg Thieme Verlag Stuttgart · New York

Intraoperative Image-Directed Dye Marking of Tumor Margins

H. Hirschberg1 , E. Samset2
  • 1Department of Neurosurgery
  • 2The Interventional Center, Rikshospitalet, University of Oslo, Norway
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Publication History

Publication Date:
18 March 2008 (online)


The incorporation of interactive image guidance during intracranial tumor surgery offers the possibilities of reduced operative trauma, shorter operation time, greater precision, and an increased understanding of complex anatomy and pathology. A basic weakness with these systems though is that they cannot account for movement of target points due to brain shift by draining of CSF or removal of pathology during the operative procedure. We have developed a stereotactic (frameless) guided injector probe for marking the tumor boundary with dye injection in conjunction with a neuronavigation system. The device consisted of a rigid blunt hollow probe (2 mm dia.) with 4 small side holes at the tip. The catheter is mounted in a holder equipped with 3 LEDs supplying guidance information for the neuronavigation system. A small manual aliquoting pump delivers a measured amount of dye in each track. Isotonic methylene blue was injected in 6 to 8 tracks around the periphery of the tumor as determined by the contract ring in MR scans. The dye was injected using image-directed guidance before resection of the tumor was started (often with the dura intact). Tumor tissue could then be resected until the dye became visible at the tumor boundary. Identification of the dye in the tissue was enhanced with the use of the operating microscope. The 3-dimensional position of the dye track could be determined at the end of tumor resection and compared with its initial position giving a good estimate of local brain shift. The method has proved espeially helpful for the resection of large gliomas allowing for a more radical operative result.