Fluorescence imaging is a well-known method for both the in vivo and in vitro identification of specific cells or tissues. This imaging tool is gaining importance in the intraoperative detection and preservation of parathyroid glands during endocrine surgery owing to the intrinsic properties of parathyroid tissue. The aim of this paper is to provide an overview of the basics of the technology, its history, and the recent surgical intraoperative applications of near-infrared imaging methods. Moreover, a literature review of the utilization of fluorescence devices in thyroid surgery suggests that the use of near-infrared imaging seems to be beneficial in reducing postoperative hypoparathyroidism, which is one of the most frequent complications of thyroid surgery.
Keywords: hypoparathyroidism; near-infrared fluorescence imaging; parathyroid gland; thyroid gland; thyroid surgery.