Fluorescent cholangiography illuminating the biliary tree during laparoscopic cholecystectomy

Br J Surg. 2010 Sep;97(9):1369-77. doi: 10.1002/bjs.7125.


Background: Although intraoperative cholangiography has been recommended for avoiding bile duct injury during laparoscopic cholecystectomy, radiographic cholangiography is time consuming and may itself cause injury to the bile duct. Recently, a novel fluorescent cholangiography technique using the intravenous injection of indocyanine green (ICG) has been developed.

Methods: In 52 patients undergoing laparoscopic cholecystectomy, 2.5 mg ICG was injected intravenously 30 min before the patient entered the operating room or following intubation. A fluorescent imaging system, which consisted of a xenon light source and a laparoscope with a charge-coupled device camera that could filter out light wavelengths below 810 nm, was used. Fluorescent cholangiography was performed during dissection of Calot's triangle, and its ability to delineate biliary anatomy was compared with that of preoperative cholangiography.

Results: Fluorescent cholangiography delineated the cystic duct in all 52 patients, and the cystic duct-common hepatic duct junction was visible before dissection of Calot's triangle in 50 patients. Fluorescent imaging also identified all accessory bile ducts that had been diagnosed before surgery in eight patients.

Conclusion: Fluorescent cholangiography enables real-time identification of biliary anatomy during dissection of Calot's triangle. This simple technique may become standard practice for avoiding bile duct injury during laparoscopic cholecystectomy, replacing radiographic cholangiography.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Evaluation Study
  • Multicenter Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Bile Duct Diseases / diagnostic imaging
  • Bile Duct Diseases / surgery
  • Biliary Tract / diagnostic imaging*
  • Cholangiography / methods*
  • Cholecystectomy, Laparoscopic / methods*
  • Coloring Agents*
  • Female
  • Fluorescence*
  • Humans
  • Indocyanine Green*
  • Length of Stay
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Radiography, Interventional


  • Coloring Agents
  • Indocyanine Green