Indocyanine green fluorescence measurement of intestinal transit and gut perfusion after intestinal manipulation

Eur Surg Res. Jul-Aug 2004;36(4):210-8. doi: 10.1159/000078855.


Background and aims: Postoperative ileus is a common and poorly understood problem of abdominal surgery. The aim of this study was to measure postoperative intestinal transit and to evaluate bowel wall perfusion by a novel in vivo indocyanine green (ICG)-fluorescence measurement following intestinal manipulation (IM).

Methods: Rats underwent a simple intestinal manipulation. Myeloperoxidase-positive cells in the muscularis were stained with the Hanker-Yates reaction and quantified histochemically. Bowel wall perfusion was determined directly and 24 h postoperatively using a laser-fluorescence detection unit. Intestinal transit was visualized 24 h after IM.

Results: IM resulted in a massive infiltration (155-fold) of neutrophils into the intestinal muscularis 24 h postoperatively. Bowel wall perfusion significantly decreased directly and 24 h following surgery (29 and 59%, respectively). Gastrointestinal transit was similarly impaired and showed a reduction to 40% of the control values 24 h after IM.

Conclusion: IM of the rat small intestine caused an impairment in bowel wall perfusion and microcirculation and a significant decrease in gastrointestinal transit. The ICG fluorescence measurement using the described system proved to be a simple and reliable method to evaluate intestinal transit and bowel wall microcirculation in vivo.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Coloring Agents*
  • Gastrointestinal Motility
  • Ileus / physiopathology*
  • Indocyanine Green*
  • Intestines / blood supply*
  • Intestines / surgery*
  • Leukocytes / cytology
  • Male
  • Microcirculation
  • Postoperative Complications / physiopathology
  • Rats
  • Rats, Sprague-Dawley


  • Coloring Agents
  • Indocyanine Green