Background: Managing difficult-to-access lesions or surgically accessible lesions in fragile patients is a central problem in neurosurgery. MRI-guided interstitial laser ablation (ILA) is a minimally invasive option that may provide a safe means of treating these challenging patients. Objective: We aim to (1) evaluate safety, efficacy, and preliminary outcomes within a diverse and large series of ILA treatments; and (2) report technical details and operative trends that proved useful over time in the authors' experience and that may be of use to neurosurgeons who perform ILA. Methods: A retrospective evaluation of ILA patients was performed in terms of demographics, surgical techniques, and clinical outcomes. Results: A total of 133 intracranial lesions in 120 patients were treated with ILA, including glioblastomas (GBM), other gliomas, metastases, epilepsy foci, and radionecrosis. The rate of complications/unexpected readmission was 6.0%, and the mortality rate was 2.2%. With high-grade tumors, tumor volumes >3 cm in diameter trended toward a higher rate of complication (p = 0.056). Median progression-free survival (PFS) and overall survival (OS) for recurrent GBM were 7.4 and 11.6 months, respectively. As a frontline treatment for newly diagnosed GBM, median PFS and OS were 5.9 and 11.4 months, respectively. For metastases, median PFS was not yet reached, and OS was 17.2 months. Conclusion: Our series suggests that ILA is a safe and efficacious treatment for a variety of intracranial pathologies, can be tailored to treat difficult-to-access lesions, and may offer a novel alternative to open craniotomy in properly selected patients.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)417-428
Number of pages12
JournalStereotactic and Functional Neurosurgery
Issue number6
StatePublished - Mar 1 2018


  • Brain tumors
  • Intracranial lesions
  • Laser ablation
  • Laser interstitial thermal therapy
  • MRI
  • Survival


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