Document Type


Publication Date


Publication Title

Surg Neurol Int


BACKGROUND: 5-aminolevulinic acid (5-ALA) is a valuable surgical adjuvant used for the resection of glioblastoma multiforme (GBM). Since Food and Drug Administration approval in 2017, 5-ALA has been used in over 37,000 cases. The current recommendation for peak efficacy and intraoperative fluorescence is within 4 h after administration. This narrow time window imposes a perioperative time constraint which may complicate or preclude the use of 5-ALA in GBM surgery.

CASE DESCRIPTION: This case report describes the prolonged activity of 5-ALA in a 66-year-old patient with a newly diagnosed GBM lesion within the left supramarginal gyrus. An awake craniotomy with language and sensorimotor mapping was planned along with 5-ALA fluorescence guidance. Shortly, after receiving the preoperative 5-ALA dose, the patient developed a fever. Surgery was postponed for an infectious disease workup which proved negative. The patient was taken to surgery the following day, 36 h after 5-ALA administration. Despite the delay, intraoperative fluorescence within the tumor remained and was sufficient to guide resection. Postoperative imaging confirmed a gross total resection of the tumor.

CONCLUSION: The use of 5-ALA as an intraoperative adjuvant may still be effective for patients beyond the recommended 4-h window after initial administration. Reconsideration of current use of 5-ALA is warranted.

PubMed ID




First Page


Last Page




To view the content in your browser, please download Adobe Reader or, alternately,
you may Download the file to your hard drive.

NOTE: The latest versions of Adobe Reader do not support viewing PDF files within Firefox on Mac OS and if you are using a modern (Intel) Mac, there is no official plugin for viewing PDF files within the browser window.