Objective: To identify preoperative and intraoperative factors and conditions that predicts the beneficial application of a high-frequency electromagnetic field (EMF) system for tumor vaporization and coagulation. Methods: One hundred three subsequent patients with brain tumors were microsurgically treated using the EMF system in addition to the standard neurosurgical instrumentarium. A multivariate analysis was performed regarding the usefulness (ineffective/useful/very helpful/essential) of the new technology for tumor vaporization and coagulation, with respect to tumor histology and location, tissue consistency and texture, patients' age and sex. Results: The EMF system could be used effectively during tumor surgery in 83 cases with an essential contribution to the overall success in 14 cases. In the advanced category of effectiveness (very helpful/ essential), there was a significant difference between hard and soft tissue consistency (50 of 66 cases vs. 3 of 37 cases). The coagulation function worked well (very helpful/essential) for surface (73 of 103 cases) and spot (46 of 103 cases) coagulation when vessels with a diameter of less than one millimeter were involved. The light-weight bayonet hand piece and long malleable electrodes made the system especially suited for the resection of deep-seated lesions (34 of 52 cases) compared to superficial tumors (19 of 50 cases). The EMF system was less effective than traditional electrosurgical devices in reducing soft glial tumors. Standard methods where also required for coagulation of larger vessels. Conclusion: It is possible to identify factors and conditions that predict a beneficial application of high-frequency electromagnetics for tumor vaporization and coagulation. This allows focusing the use of this technology on selective indications.
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