Intraoperative visualization of cranial nerve schwannomas using second-window indocyanine green: A case series

Clin Neurol Neurosurg. 2024 Mar 11;240:108241. doi: 10.1016/j.clineuro.2024.108241. Online ahead of print.


BACKGROUND: Second Window Indocyanine Green (SWIG) is a novel intraoperative imaging technique that uses near-infrared (NIR) light for intra-operative tumor visualization using the well-known fluorophore indocyanine green (ICG). Because schwannomas often incorporate the nerve into the encapsulated tumor and impinge on surrounding neural structures, SWIG is a promising technique to improve tumor resection while sparing the nerve.

OBJECTIVE: To demonstrate the use of SWIG in resection of cranial nerve schwannomas.

METHODS: Three patients with cranial nerve schwannomas (i.e., trigeminal, vestibular, and vagus) underwent SWIG-guided resection. During surgery, NIR visualization was used intermittently used to detect fluorescence to guide resection. Signal-to-background ratio was then calculated to quantify fluorescence.

RESULTS: Patients were infused with ICG at a dose of 5.0 mg/kg 24 hours before surgery. Each patient achieved total or near-total resection and relief of symptoms with lack of recurrence at six-month follow-up. The average SBR calculated was 3.79, comparable to values for SWIG-guided resection of other brain and spine tumors.

CONCLUSION: This case series is the first published report of trigeminal and vagus nerve schwannoma resection using the SWIG technique and suggests that SWIG may be used to detect all schwannomas, alongside many other types of brain tumor. This paper also demonstrates the importance of preoperative ICG infusion timing and discusses the inverse pattern of NIR signal that may be observed when infusion occurs outside of the optimal timing. This provides direction for future studies investigating the administration of SWIG to resect cranial nerve schwannomas and other brain tumors.

PMID:38522224 | DOI:10.1016/j.clineuro.2024.108241