Journal of Neuro-Oncology

, Volume 141, Issue 3, pp 567–573 | Cite as

The use of 5-aminolevulinic acid in resection of pediatric brain tumors: a critical review

  • Chenran ZhangEmail author
  • Frederick A. Boop
  • John Ruge
Topic Review


The compound, 5-aminolevulinic acid (5-ALA) is approved for fluorescence-guided resections of malignant gliomas in Europe and other countries for use in adults, but not for children. The application of 5-ALA in children remains an off-label use. Several case reports on fluorescence-guided surgery use in children have been published, yet no prospective study has been conducted. Here we systematically review the reported studies and discuss the usefulness, application, and safety of 5-ALA use in resection of pediatric brain tumors.


5-Aminolevulinic acid (5-ALA) Pediatric brain tumor Extent of resection 



The authors would like to thank Andrew J. Gienapp (Neuroscience Institute, Le Bonheur Children’s Hospital, Memphis, TN and Department of Neurosurgery, University of Tennessee Health Science Center, Memphis, TN) for copy editing and preparation of the manuscript and table for publishing.


This work was generously supported by the National Natural Sciences Fund Project of China (NSFC Nos. 81500601 and 81600337), Shanghai Municipal Health Bureau Project(20154Y0036) and Hospital Funded Clinical Research-Clinical Research Unit-Xin Hua Hospital Affiliated to Shanghai Jiao Tong University School of Medicine (17CSY02).

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflicts of interest.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Pediatric Neurosurgery, Xinhua Hospital, School of MedicineShanghai Jiao Tong UniversityShanghaiChina
  2. 2.Clinical Research Unit, Xinhua Hospital, School of MedicineShanghai Jiao Tong UniversityShanghaiChina
  3. 3.Department of NeurosurgeryLe Bonheur Children’s HospitalMemphisUSA
  4. 4.St Jude Children’s Research HospitalMemphisUSA
  5. 5.Department of NeurosurgeryUniversity of Tennessee Health Science CenterMemphisUSA
  6. 6.Semmes-Murphey Brain and Spine InstituteMemphisUSA
  7. 7.Department of Pediatric NeurosurgeryAdvocate Children’s HospitalPark RidgeUSA

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