Background: Indocyanine green (ICG)-fluorescence imaging has been developed for real-time identification of hepatic tumors and segmental boundaries during hepatectomy. Fusion ICG-fluorescence imaging (real-time visualization of pseudocolor-fluorescence signals on white-light color images) may serve as a reliable navigation tool especially in laparoscopic hepatectomy, in which gross inspection and palpation are limited.
Methods: The study population consisted of 41 patients undergoing laparoscopic hepatectomy. Hepatic tumors were identified by fluorescence imaging following the preoperative intravenous administration of ICG (0.5 mg/kg body weight). To visualize hepatic perfusion and segmental boundaries, ICG (1.25 mg) was injected intravenously during surgery, following closure of the proximal portal pedicle. A laparoscopic imaging system, which enabled superimposition of the pseudocolor-fluorescence images on white color images, was used for the fusion ICG-fluorescence imaging.
Results: Among the 53 malignant tumors resected, fusion ICG-fluorescence imaging revealed 45 nodules (85%), including three nodules of colorectal liver metastasis unidentifiable by white-light color images or intraoperative ultrasonography. It also delineated the segmental boundaries on the hepatic raw surfaces as well as on the phrenic/visceral surfaces in all 12 patients evaluated using this technique.
Conclusions: Fusion imaging enhances the feasibility of intraoperative ICG-fluorescence imaging in the identification of hepatic tumors and segmental boundaries. It may therefore help surgeons in the safe and accurate completion of laparoscopic hepatectomies.
Keywords: Colorectal liver metastasis; Fluorescence imaging; Hepatic segmentectomy; Indocyanine green; Laparoscopic hepatectomy.