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Modern surgical management of incidental gliomas.



Gliomas are the most common primary tumors of the central nervous system and are categorized by the World Health Organization into either low-grade (grades 1 and 2) or high-grade (grades 3 and 4) gliomas. A subset of patients with glioma may experience no tumor-related symptoms and be incidentally diagnosed. These incidental low-grade gliomas (iLGG) maintain controversial treatment course despite scientific advancements. Here we highlight the recent advancements in classification, neuroimaging, and surgical management of these tumors.


A review of the literature was performed. The authors created five subtopics of focus: histological criteria, diagnostic imaging, surgical advancements, correlation of surgical resection and survival outcomes, and clinical implications.


Alternating studies suggest that these tumors may experience higher mutational rates than their counterparts. Significant progress in management of gliomas, regardless of the grade, has been made through modern neurosurgical treatment modalities, diagnostic neuroimaging, and a better understanding of the genetic composition of these tumors. An optimal treatment approach for patients with newly diagnosed iLGG remains ill-defined despite multiple studies arguing in favor of safe maximal resection. Our review emphasizes the not so benign nature of incidental low grade glioma and further supports the need for future studies to evaluate survival outcomes following surgical resection.

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