The benefits of surgery for the management of low-grade gliomas have been difficult to determine from the literature. This difficulty might be explained by the inconsistency of the published data, and also by advances in both neuroimaging and neurosurgical techniques, which have made surgical intervention a safer and more viable option than it has been in the past, making the earlier studies less applicable to modern care. In this article, we critically analyze the utility of surgery in the management of low-grade gliomas, including the value of observation without surgical intervention, the relative risks and benefits of biopsy versus craniotomy and resection, and recent advances that have made surgery safer and gross total resection a more realistic proposition. As we will discuss, the literature provides modest evidence that surgery leads to improved outcomes through a reduction in tumor burden. As a result of advances in surgical techniques, the time might now be right to effectively and accurately assess the influence of aggressive surgical resection on the prognosis of low-grade gliomas.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Clinical Neurology
- Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience