Handheld confocal laser endomicroscopic imaging utilizing tumor-specific fluorescent labeling to identify experimental glioma cells in vivo

Nikolay L. Martirosyan, Joseph Georges, M. Yashar S Kalani, Peter Nakaji, Robert F. Spetzler, Burt G.F. Feuerstein, Mark C. Preul

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

4 Scopus citations


Background: We have reported that handheld confocal laser endomicroscopy (CLE) can be used with various nonspecific fluorescent dyes to improve the microscopic identification of brain tumor and its boundaries. Here, we show that CLE can be used experimentally with tumor-specific fluorescent labeling to define glioma margins in vivo. Methods: Thirteen rats underwent craniectomy and in vivo imaging 21 days after implantation with green fluorescent protein (GFP)-labeled U251 (n = 7) cells or epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) overexpressing F98 cells (n = 6). Fluorescein isothiocyanate (FITC) conjugated EGFR fluorescent antibody (FITC-EGFR) was applied for contrast in F98 tumors. Confocal images of normal brain, obvious tumor, and peritumoral zones were collected using the CLE system. Bench-top confocal microscopy and hematoxylin and eosin-stained sections were correlated with CLE images. Results: GFP and FITC-EGFR fluorescence of glioma cells were detected by in vivo visible-wavelength fluorescence CLE. CLE of GFP-labeled tumors revealed bright individual satellite tumor cells within peritumoral tissue, a definitive tumor border, and subcellular structures. Imaging with FITC-EGFR labeling provided weaker contrast in F98-EGFR tumors but was able to delineate tumor cells. Imaging with both methods in various tumor regions correlated with standard confocal imaging and clinical histology. Conclusions: These data suggest that in vivo CLE of selectively tagged neoplasms could allow specific interactive identification of tumoral areas. Imaging of GFP and FITC-EGFR provides real-time histologic information precisely related to the site of microscopic imaging of tumor.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)S995-S1003
JournalSurgical Neurology International
Issue number41
StatePublished - 2016



  • Confocal laser endomicroscopy
  • confocal microscopy
  • fluorescent antibody
  • green fluorescent protein
  • malignant gliomas
  • molecular imaging

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Clinical Neurology

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