Improved Diagnostic Imaging of Brain Tumors by Multimodal Microscopy and Deep Learning
Fluorescence-guided surgery is a state-of-the-art approach for intraoperative imaging during neurosurgical removal of tumor tissue. While the visualization of high-grade gliomas is reliable, lower grade glioma often lack visible fluorescence signals. Here, we present a hybrid prototype combining visible light optical coherence microscopy (OCM) and high-resolution fluorescence imaging for assessment of brain tumor samples acquired by 5-aminolevulinic acid (5-ALA) fluorescence-guided surgery. OCM
... guided surgery. OCM provides high-resolution information of the inherent tissue scattering and absorption properties of tissue. We here explore quantitative attenuation coefficients derived from volumetric OCM intensity data and quantitative high-resolution 5-ALA fluorescence as potential biomarkers for tissue malignancy including otherwise difficult-to-assess low-grade glioma. We validate our findings against the gold standard histology and use attenuation and fluorescence intensity measures to differentiate between tumor core, infiltrative zone and adjacent brain tissue. Using large field-of-view scans acquired by a near-infrared swept-source optical coherence tomography setup, we provide initial assessments of tumor heterogeneity. Finally, we use cross-sectional OCM images to train a convolutional neural network that discriminates tumor from non-tumor tissue with an accuracy of 97%. Collectively, the present hybrid approach offers potential to translate into an in vivo imaging setup for substantially improved intraoperative guidance of brain tumor surgeries.