Noninvasive Near-Infrared Fluorescence Imaging of the Ureter During Robotic Surgery: A Demonstration in a Porcine Model

J Laparoendosc Adv Surg Tech A. 2020 Sep;30(9):962-966. doi: 10.1089/lap.2020.0399. Epub 2020 Jul 21.


Background: Iatrogenic ureteral injury is one of the feared complications during intrapelvic surgery. There are limited data on the use of novel near-infrared fluorescence (NIRF) imaging dyes for the purpose of noninvasive ureteral visualization in robot-assisted laparoscopic surgery (RALS). In this study, we evaluated the feasibility of NIRF imaging of the ureter using the IRDye® 800BK dye as the fluorescence dye and a robotic platform with Firefly™ technology as an imaging system. Materials and Methods: An intravenous dose of 0.15 mg/kg was administered in 3 pigs and NIRF imaging was performed for a total duration of 60 minutes. The intraoperative video recordings were analyzed to determine fluorescence intensities and the target-to-background ratio (TBR). Results: In all included animals, a clear delineation of the ureter was achieved from 5 minutes after dye administration until the end of the study. During this time period, the ureter was clearly distinguishable from its surroundings and no statistical differences in TBR were observed. Conclusion: The IRDye 800BK dye, a novel NIRF dye currently undergoing clinical translation, is a promising contrast agent used for noninvasive ureteral imaging, which has the potential to be valuable during RALS.

Keywords: IRDye800BK; near-infrared fluorescence imaging; nerindocianine sodium; robotic surgery; ureter.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Female
  • Fluorescence
  • Fluorescent Dyes*
  • Indoles*
  • Laparoscopy
  • Optical Imaging / methods*
  • Robotic Surgical Procedures
  • Swine
  • Ureter / diagnostic imaging*


  • Fluorescent Dyes
  • IRDye 800BK
  • Indoles