Prediction of Skin Necrosis after Mastectomy for Breast Cancer Using Indocyanine Green Angiography Imaging

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In immediate tissue expander reconstruction following total mastectomy for breast cancer, indocyanine green angiography (ICGA)–guided skin trimming is useful for the prevention of complications. However, instances of unclear ICGA contrast can occur with this method, which are difficult to judge as to whether preventive trimming is warranted. To further improve the mastectomy flap necrosis rate, more accurate objective parameters are necessary.


The degree of clinical improvement was compared between 81 patients trimmed according to the surgeon’s judgment (non-ICGA group) and 100 patients with ICGA-guided trimming (ICGA group). We then retrospectively measured 3 parameters [relative perfusion (RP); time (T) to reach RPmax; and slope (S = RP/T) reflecting the rate of increase to RPmax] by using region of interest analysis software and examined their relationships with skin necrosis.


The rate of grade III necrosis (reaching the subcutaneous fat layer) was significantly lower in the ICGA group (4.8%) than in the non-ICGA group (17.8%; P < 0.05). The specificity of RP for the diagnosis of skin necrosis was high (98.5%; cutoff value, 34). However, the sensitivities of slope parameters were higher than RP.


ICGA-guided trimming decreased the rate of deep skin necrosis requiring additional surgical treatment. Region of interest analysis indicated that a relatively low percentage luminescence (RP < 34) was indicative of the need for skin trimming, combined with a slow increase in the perfusion of the mastectomy skin flaps.

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