Objective: We report our initial clinical experience with a new method for intraoperative blood flow assessment. The purposes of the study were to assess the use of indocyanine green (ICG) video angiography in neurovascular cases, to assess the handling and image quality, to compare the findings with postoperative angiographic results, and to evaluate the clinical value of the method in a preliminary feasibility study.
Methods: Fourteen patients with aneurysms (n = 12) or spinal (n = 1) or intracranial (n = 1) dural fistulae were included. Before and/or after aneurysm or dural fistula occlusion, ICG (25 mg) was injected intravenously. A near-infrared laser excitation light source (lambda = 780 nm) illuminated the operating field. The intravascular fluorescence of ICG (maximal lambda = 835 nm) was recorded by a nonintensified video camera, with optical filtering to block ambient and laser light for collection of only ICG-induced fluorescence.
Results: A total of 21 investigations were performed for 14 patients. For the 17 successful ICG video angiographic investigations, image quality and resolution were excellent, allowing intraoperative real-time assessment of the cerebral circulation. ICG angiographic results could be divided into arterial, capillary, and venous phases, comparable to those observed with digital subtraction angiography. In all cases, the postoperative angiographic results corresponded to the intraoperative ICG video angiographic findings. In three cases, the information provided by intraoperative ICG angiography significantly changed the surgical procedure.
Conclusion: ICG video angiography is simple and provides real-time information on the patency of arterial and venous vessels of all relevant diameters, including small and perforating arteries (<0.5 mm), and the visible aneurysm sac. It may be a useful adjunct to improve the quality of neurovascular procedures and to document the intraoperative vascular flow.