Document Type


Publication Date


Publication Title

Scientific Reports


Thayer School of Engineering

Additional Department

Geisel School of Medicine


Fluorescence guided surgery (FGS) using aminolevulinic-acid (ALA) induced protoporphyrin IX (PpIX) provides intraoperative visual contrast between normal and malignant tissue during resection of high grade gliomas. However, maps of the PpIX biodistribution within the surgical field based on either visual perception or the raw fluorescence emissions can be masked by background signals or distorted by variations in tissue optical properties. This study evaluates the impact of algorithmic processing of hyperspectral imaging acquisitions on the sensitivity and contrast of PpIX maps. Measurements in tissue-simulating phantoms showed that (I) spectral fitting enhanced PpIX sensitivity compared with visible or integrated fluorescence, (II) confidence-filtering automatically determined the lower limit of detection based on the strength of the PpIX spectral signature in the collected emission spectrum (0.014–0.041 μg/ml in phantoms), and (III) optical-property corrected PpIX estimates were more highly correlated with independent probe measurements (r = 0.98) than with spectral fitting alone (r = 0.91) or integrated fluorescence (r = 0.82). Application to in vivo case examples from clinical neurosurgeries revealed changes to the localization and contrast of PpIX maps, making concentrations accessible that were not visually apparent. Adoption of these methods has the potential to maintain sensitive and accurate visualization of PpIX contrast over the course of surgery.




This work is licensed under a CC BY 4.0 license

Original Citation

Bravo JJ, Olson JD, Davis SC, Roberts DW, Paulsen KD, Kanick SC. Hyperspectral data processing improves PpIX contrast during fluorescence guided surgery of human brain tumors. Sci Rep. 2017 Aug 25;7(1):9455. doi: 10.1038/s41598-017-09727-8. PMID: 28842674; PMCID: PMC5572708.