Laser interstitial thermal therapy (LITT) for intracranial lesions: a single-institutional series, outcomes, and review of the literature

Rocco Dabecco, Michael J. Gigliotti, Gordon Mao, Daniel Myers, Linda Xu, Philip Lee, Tulika Ranjan, Khaled Aziz, Alexander Yu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Introduction: Laser interstitial thermal therapy (LITT) is a minimally invasive treatment method in managing primary brain neoplasms, brain metastases, radiation necrosis, and epileptogenic lesions, many of which are located in operative corridors that would be difficult to address. Although the use of lasers is not a new concept in neurosurgery, advances in technology have enabled surgeons to perform laser treatment with the aid of real-time MRI thermography as a guide. In this report, we present our institutional series and outcomes of patients treated with LITT. Methods: We retrospectively evaluated 19 patients (age range, 28–77 years) who underwent LITT at one or more targets from 2015 to 2019. Primary endpoint observed was mean progression free survival (PFS) and overall survival (OS). Results: Seven patients with glial neoplasms and 12 patients with metastatic disease were reviewed. Average hospitalization was 2.4 days. Median PFS was 7 and 4 months in the metastatic group and primary glial neoplasm group, respectively (p = 0.01). Median OS from time of diagnosis was 41 and 32 months (p = 0.02) and median OS after LITT therapy was 25 and 24 months (p = 0.02) for the metastatic and primary glial neoplasm groups, respectively. One patient experienced immediate post-procedural morbidity secondary to increased intracerebral edema peri-lesionally while one patient experienced post-operative mortality and expired secondary to hemorrhage 1-month post-procedure. Median follow-up was 10 months. Conclusion: Laser interstitial thermal therapy (LITT) is a safe, minimally invasive treatment method that provides surgeons with cytoreductive techniques to treat neurosurgical conditions. Both PFS and OS appear to be more favorable after LITT in patients with metastatic disease. In properly selected patients, this modality offers improved survival outcomes in conjunction with other salvage therapies.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalBritish journal of neurosurgery
StateAccepted/In press - 2021


  • Laser interstitial thermal therapy
  • glioma
  • intracranial metastasis
  • outcome

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology
  • Surgery


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