Interpretative Guidelines and Possible Indications for Indocyanine Green Fluorescence Imaging in Robot-Assisted Sphincter-Saving Operations

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Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Since the introduction of indocyanine green angiography more than 25 years ago, few studies have presented interpretative guidelines for indocyanine green fluorescent imaging.

OBJECTIVE:

We aimed to provide interpretative guidelines for indocyanine green fluorescent imaging through quantitative analysis and to suggest possible indications for indocyanine green fluorescent imaging during robot-assisted sphincter-saving operations.

DESIGN:

This is a retrospective observational study.

SETTINGS:

This study was conducted at a single center.

PATIENTS:

A cohort of 657 patients with rectal cancer who consecutively underwent curative robot-assisted sphincter-saving operations was enrolled between 2010 and 2016, including 310 patients with indocyanine green imaging (indocyanine green fluorescent imaging+ group) and 347 patients without indocyanine green imaging (indocyanine green fluorescent imaging− group).

MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES:

We tried to quantitatively define the indocyanine green fluorescent imaging findings based on perfusion (mesocolic and colic) time and perfusion intensity (5 grades) to provide probable indications.

RESULTS:

The anastomotic leakage rate was significantly lower in the indocyanine green fluorescent imaging+ group than in the indocyanine green fluorescent imaging− group (0.6% vs 5.2%) (OR, 0.123; 95% CI, 0.028–0.544; p = 0.006). Anastomotic stricture was closely correlated with anastomotic leakage (p = 0.002) and a short descending mesocolon (p = 0.003). Delayed perfusion (>60 s) and low perfusion intensity (1–2) were more frequently detected in patients with anastomotic stricture and marginal artery defects than in those without these factors (p ≤ 0.001). In addition, perfusion times greater than the mean were more frequently observed in patients aged >58 years, whereas low perfusion intensity was seen more in patients with short descending mesocolon and high ASA classes (≥3).

LIMITATIONS:

The 300 patients in the indocyanine green fluorescent imaging− group underwent operations 3 years before indocyanine green fluorescent imaging.

CONCLUSIONS:

Quantitative analysis of indocyanine green fluorescent imaging may help prevent anastomotic complications during robot-assisted sphincter-saving operations, and may be of particular value in high-class ASA patients, older patients, and patients with a short descending mesocolon.

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