Preliminary Use of Indocyanine Green Fluorescence Angiography and Value in Predicting the Vascular Supply of Tissues Needed to Perform Cloacal, Anorectal Malformation, and Hirschsprung Reconstructions

Eur J Pediatr Surg. 2020 Dec;30(6):505-511. doi: 10.1055/s-0039-1700548. Epub 2019 Dec 13.


Introduction: Reconstructive techniques for cloaca, anorectal malformations (ARM), and Hirschsprung disease (HD) may require intestinal flaps on vascular pedicles for vaginal reconstruction and/or colonic pull-throughs. Visual assessment of tissue perfusion is typically the only modality used. We investigated the utility of intraoperative indocyanine green fluorescence angiography (ICG-FA) and hypothesized that it would be more accurate than the surgeon's eye.

Materials and methods: Thirteen consecutive patients undergoing cloacal reconstruction (9), HD (3), and ARM repair (1) underwent ICG-FA laser SPY imaging to assess colonic, rectal, vaginal, and neovaginal tissue perfusion following intraoperative visual clinical assessment. Operative findings were correlated with healing at 6 weeks, 3 months, and 1 year postoperatively.

Results: ICG-FA resulted in a change in the operative plan in 4 of the 13 (31%) cases. In three cases, ICG-FA resulted in the distal bowel being transected at a level (>10 cm) higher than originally planned, and in one case the distal bowel was discarded, and the colostomy used for pull-through.

Conclusion: ICG-FA correctly identified patients who might have developed a complication from poor tissue perfusion. Employing this technology to assess rectal or neovaginal pull-throughs in cloacal reconstructions, complex HD, and ARM cases may be a valuable technology.

MeSH terms

  • Anorectal Malformations / diagnostic imaging*
  • Anorectal Malformations / surgery
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Cloaca / diagnostic imaging*
  • Cloaca / surgery
  • Female
  • Fluorescein Angiography / methods*
  • Hirschsprung Disease / diagnostic imaging*
  • Hirschsprung Disease / surgery
  • Humans
  • Indocyanine Green / administration & dosage
  • Infant
  • Male
  • Plastic Surgery Procedures
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Surgical Flaps / blood supply*


  • Indocyanine Green