Reliability of intraoperative ultrasound in detecting tumor residual after brain diffuse glioma surgery: a systematic review and meta-analysis

  • Gianluca TrevisiEmail author
  • Paolo Barbone
  • Giorgio Treglia
  • Maria Vittoria Mattoli
  • Annunziato Mangiola


Intraoperative ultrasonography (iUS) is considered an accurate, safe, and cost-effective tool to estimate the extent of resection of both high-grade (HGG) and low-grade (DLGG) diffuse gliomas (DGs). However, it is currently missing an evidence-based assessment of iUS diagnostic accuracy in DGs surgery. The objective of review is to perform a systematic review and meta-analysis of the diagnostic performance of iUS in detecting tumor residue after DGs resection. A comprehensive literature search for studies published through October 2018 was performed according to PRISMA-DTA and STARD 2015 guidelines, using the following algorithm: (“ultrasound” OR “ultrasonography” OR “ultra-so*” OR “echo*” OR “eco*”) AND (“brain” OR “nervous”) AND (“tumor” OR “tumour” OR “lesion” OR “mass” OR “glio*” OR “GBM”) AND (“surgery” OR “surgical” OR “microsurg*” OR “neurosurg*”). Pooled sensitivity, specificity, positive and negative likelihood ratios (LR+ and LR−), and diagnostic odds ratio (DOR) of iUS in DGs were calculated. A subgroup analysis for HGGs and DLGGs was also conducted. Thirteen studies were included in the systematic review (665 DGs). Ten articles (409 DGs) were selected for the meta-analysis with the following results: sensitivity 72.2%, specificity 93.5%, LR− 0.29, LR+ 3, and DOR 9.67. Heterogeneity among studies was non-significant. Subgroup analysis demonstrates a better diagnostic performance of iUS for DLGGs compared with HGGs. iUS is an effective technique in assessing DGs resection. No significant differences are seen regarding iUS modality and transducer characteristics. Its diagnostic performance is higher in DLGGs than HGGs and could be worsened by previous treatments, surgical artifacts, and small tumor residue volumes.


Diffuse glioma Extent of resection High-grade glioma Intraoperative ultrasound Low-grade glioma Residual tumor 


Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Ethical approval

Due to the nature of the present study (literature review), no ethical approval was needed.

Informed consent

Due to the nature of the present study (literature review), no informed consent was obtained.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Neurosurgical UnitPresidio Ospedaliero Santo SpiritoPescaraItaly
  2. 2.Health Technology Assessment Unit, General DirectorateEnte Ospedaliero CantonaleBellinzonaSwitzerland
  3. 3.Imaging Institute of Southern Switzerland, Bellinzona and LuganoLuganoSwitzerland
  4. 4.Nuclear Medicine and Molecular ImagingUniversity Hospital of Lausanne and University of LausanneLausanneSwitzerland
  5. 5.Department of Neurosciences, Imaging and Clinical Sciences“G. D’Annunzio” UniversityChietiItaly

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