Clinical application and technical standardization of indocyanine green (ICG) fluorescence imaging in pediatric minimally invasive surgery

Pediatr Surg Int. 2019 Oct;35(10):1043-1050. doi: 10.1007/s00383-019-04519-9. Epub 2019 Jul 4.


Purpose: We reported our preliminary experience using ICG fluorescence in pediatric minimally invasive surgery (MIS) with the aim to standardize indications, dose, timing, and modality of administration of ICG according to different organs.

Methods: ICG technology was adopted in 46 MIS procedures performed in our unit over the last 18 months: 30 left varicocele repairs; 5 cholecystectomies in obese adolescents; 3 tumor excisions; 3 nephrectomies; 2 partial nephrectomies; 3 lymphoma excisions. ICG solution was injected intravenously in all cases except for varicocelectomy in which it was injected into the testis. The ICG injection was performed intra-operatively in all cases except for cholecystectomy in which it was injected 18 h prior to the procedure.

Results: All procedures were completed laparoscopically without conversions or intra-operative complications. No adverse or allergic reactions to ICG were reported.

Conclusion: Our preliminary experience showed that ICG fluorescence is a safe, useful, and versatile technique to adopt in pediatric MIS to achieve a better identification of anatomy and an easier surgical dissection or resection in challenging cases. Currently, the main indications are varicocelectomy, difficult cholecystectomy, tumor excision, nephrectomy, and partial nephrectomy. The main limitation is the needing of a special equipment to use ICG technology.

Keywords: Children; Fluorescence; Indocyanine green; Laparoscopy; MIS; Technology.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Child
  • Cholecystectomy, Laparoscopic / methods
  • Coloring Agents / pharmacology
  • Female
  • Fluorescence
  • Humans
  • Indocyanine Green / pharmacology*
  • Laparoscopy / methods*
  • Male
  • Minimally Invasive Surgical Procedures / methods*
  • Nephrectomy / methods
  • Optical Imaging / standards*
  • Surgery, Computer-Assisted / methods*


  • Coloring Agents
  • Indocyanine Green