Preclinical Development and Validation of ASP5354: A Near-Infrared Fluorescent Agent for Intraoperative Ureter Visualization

Mol Imaging Biol. 2023 Feb;25(1):74-84. doi: 10.1007/s11307-021-01613-0. Epub 2021 May 11.


Purpose: Iatrogenic ureteral injury (IUI) can complicate minimally invasive and open abdominopelvic surgery. The incidence of IUI is low and dependent on the type of surgery (< 10 %), but it is associated with high morbidity. Therefore, intraoperative visualization of the ureter is critical to reduce the incidence of IUI, and some methodologies for ureter visualization have been developed. Amongst these, near-infrared fluorescence (NIRF) visualization is thought to bring an advantage with real-time retroperitoneal visualization through the retroperitoneum. We investigated an indocyanine green (ICG) derivative, ASP5354, which emits NIRF at 820 nm when exposed to near-infrared light at a wavelength of 780 nm, in a rodent and porcine model.

Procedures: Wistar rats and Göttingen minipigs under anesthesia were laparotomized and then administered ASP5354 chloride intravenously at dose of 0.03 and 0.3 mg/kg for rats and 0.001 and 0.01 mg/kg for minipigs, respectively. Videos of the abdominal cavity in minipigs were taken using a near-infrared fluorescent camera (pde-neo) and assessed visually by three independent clinicians. Toxicological evaluation was demonstrated with cynomolgus monkeys.

Results: The proportion of animals whose ureters were visible up to 3 h after administration of ASP5354 chloride were 33 % at 0.001 mg/kg and 100 % at 0.01 mg/kg, respectively. In a toxicological study in cynomolgus monkeys, ASP5354 chloride demonstrated no significant toxicity, suggesting that 0.01 mg/kg provides an optimal dose when used clinically and could allow for ureter visualization during routine surgical procedures.

Conclusions: The dose of 0.01 mg/kg provided an optimal dose for ureter visualization up to 3 h after administration. ASP5354 shows promise for ureter visualization during abdominopelvic surgery, which may potentially lower the risk of IUI.

Keywords: ASP5354; Intraoperative imaging; Near-infrared fluorescence imaging; Ureter.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Chlorides
  • Fluorescent Dyes
  • Indocyanine Green
  • Laparoscopy* / methods
  • Macaca fascicularis
  • Optical Imaging / methods
  • Rats
  • Rats, Wistar
  • Swine
  • Swine, Miniature
  • Ureter* / diagnostic imaging
  • Ureter* / injuries


  • Fluorescent Dyes
  • Chlorides
  • Indocyanine Green