Transanal Near-Infrared Imaging of Colorectal Anastomotic Perfusion

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The influence of perfusion on colorectal anastomotic healing and, conversely, the role of ischemia in anastomotic dehiscence have been reported by many investigators, and yet identifying a modality that can evaluate perfusion in real time and thus guide intraoperative management has proven elusive. This study describes our initial experience using transanal near-infrared (NIR) imaging to evaluate anastomotic perfusion after colorectal anastomoses. Patients undergoing colectomy with an anastomosis within 25 cm of the anal verge were included in this study. A transanal NIR system was used to assess mucosal perfusion at the level of the anastomoses. The rectum was easily navigated under direct vision and the anastomotic staple line visualized. High-quality NIR mucosal angiography was obtained in all subjects, confirming that transanal NIR angiography is feasible and simple to perform. Although NIR mucosal angiography is a promising modality, further study is needed to correlate this technique to the clinical outcome.

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