Indocyanine green (ICG) fluorescence guide for the use and indications in general surgery: recommendations based on the descriptive review of the literature and the analysis of experience

Cir Esp (Engl Ed). 2022 Sep;100(9):534-554. doi: 10.1016/j.cireng.2022.06.023. Epub 2022 Jun 11.


Indocyanine Green is a fluorescent substance visible in near-infrared light. It is useful for the identification of anatomical structures (biliary tract, ureters, parathyroid, thoracic duct), the tissues vascularization (anastomosis in colorectal, esophageal, gastric, bariatric surgery, for plasties and flaps in abdominal wall surgery, liver resection, in strangulated hernias and in intestinal ischemia), for tumor identification (liver, pancreas, adrenal glands, implants of peritoneal carcinomatosis, retroperitoneal tumors and lymphomas) and sentinel node identification and lymphatic mapping in malignant tumors (stomach, breast, colon, rectum, esophagus and skin cancer). The evidence is very encouraging, although standardization of its use and randomized studies with higher number of patients are required to obtain definitive conclusions on its use in general surgery. The aim of this literature review is to provide a guide for the use of ICG fluorescence in general surgery procedures.

Keywords: Cirugía colorrectal; Cirugía esofágica; Cirugía gástrica; Cirugía mínimamente invasiva; Colorectal surgery; Esophageal surgery; Fluorescence; Fluorescencia; Ganglio linfático centinela; Gastric surgery; Indocyanine green (ICG); Lymph node mapping; Mapeo de ganglios linfáticos; Minimally invasive surgery; Sentinel lymph node; Verde de indocianina (ICG).

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Anastomosis, Surgical
  • Coloring Agents
  • Fluorescence
  • Humans
  • Indocyanine Green*
  • Sentinel Lymph Node*


  • Coloring Agents
  • Indocyanine Green