Feasibility of simultaneous sodium fluorescein and indocyanine green injection in neurosurgical procedures

Clin Neurol Neurosurg. 2016 Jul;146:123-9. doi: 10.1016/j.clineuro.2016.05.003. Epub 2016 May 6.


Objective: The objective of this study is to assess the feasibility of simultaneous Sodium Fluorescein (SF) and Indocyanine Green (ICG) injection during neurosurgical procedures.

Patients and methods: Three patients harboring a high-grade glioma (HGG) were retrospectively identified in the surgical database of the Neurosurgical Unit 2 at the Foundation IRCCS Istituto Neurologico C. Besta in Milan, by having received intraoperatively both SF for tumor resection and ICG for vasculature angiographic studies in the same surgical procedure. We identified 2 males and 1 female (age range 25-60). Lesions were located in the left temporo-polar area and hippocampus (1 case), right superior frontal gyrus (1 case), left supplementary motor area (1 case). All the three lesions showed Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) characteristics of HGG and, for this reason, in all patients a fluorescein-guided tumor removal was proposed. In the same surgical procedure ICG videoangiography was considered necessary in order to study arterial and venous vasculature, given by the strict relation of the tumor with an unexpected Posterior Communicating Artery (PComA) aneurysm in one case and with cortical drainage veins complexes in the other two cases. In all cases a microscope equipped with both YELLOW560 and IR800 integrated filters (Pentero 900, Carl Zeiss, Oberkorchen, Germany) was used. Fluorescein was i.v. injected at a dose of 5mg/kg immediately after patient intubation. ICG was i.v. injected in bolus on demand of the operating surgeon at a dose of 12.5mg.

Results: No side-effects related to simultaneous injection of SF and ICG were identified. In all three cases, the use of SF allowed to better visualize the tumor areas during surgical removal, thus leading to a radical resection until no macroscopic appearance of residual tumor mass and no fluorescence was visible in the surgical cavity. ICG videoangiography confirmed the patency of branches of internal carotid artery after clipping of an unexpected small PComA aneurysm found intraoperatively during tumor removal in one case, while in patient 2 and 3 it allowed to evaluate patency and study flow pattern in cortical drainage veins that were intimately related to the tumors and the way of the surgical approach. Postoperative MRI showed a Gross Total Resection of the tumors in all cases.

Conclusions: This study showed for the first time the feasibility of intravenous SF injection and ICG videoangiography in the same surgical procedure. The presence of different fluorescence filters on the same surgical microscope allows the surgeon to recognize and safely resect the tumor and simultaneously evaluate local brain vascularization.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Coloring Agents / administration & dosage*
  • Coloring Agents / adverse effects
  • Feasibility Studies
  • Female
  • Fluorescein / administration & dosage*
  • Fluorescein / adverse effects
  • Humans
  • Indocyanine Green / administration & dosage*
  • Indocyanine Green / adverse effects
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Neurosurgical Procedures / methods*
  • Young Adult


  • Coloring Agents
  • Indocyanine Green
  • Fluorescein