Anastomotic leakage (AL) after gastrointestinal resection is a devastating complication with huge consequences for the patient. As AL is associated with poor blood supply, tools for objective assessment of perfusion are in high demand. Indocyanine green angiography (ICG-FA) and quantitative analysis of ICG-FA (q-ICG) seem promising. This study aimed to investigate whether ICG-FA and q-ICG could improve perfusion assessment performed by surgeons of different experience levels.


Thirteen small bowel segments with a varying degree of devascularization, including two healthy sham segments, were constructed in a porcine model. We recruited students, residents, and surgeons to perform perfusion assessment of the segments in white light (WL), with ICG-FA, and after q-ICG, all blinded to the degree of devascularization.


Forty-five participants fulfilled the study (18 novices, 12 intermediates, and 15 experienced). ICG and q-ICG helped the novices correctly detect the healthy bowel segments to experienced surgeons’ level. ICG and q-ICG also helped novice surgeons to perform safer resections in healthy tissue compared with normal WL. The relative risk (RR) of leaving ischemic tissue in WL and ICG compared with q-ICG, even for experienced surgeons was substantial, intermediates (RR = 8.9, CI95% [4.0;20] and RR = 6.2, CI95% [2.7;14.1]), and experienced (RR = 4.7, CI95% [2.6;8.7] and RR = 4.0, CI95% [2.1;7.5]).


Q-ICG seems to guide surgeons, regardless of experience level, to safely perform resection in healthy tissue, compared with standard WL. Future research should focus on this novel tool’s clinical impact.

Nerup N, Svendsen MBS, Rønn JH, Konge L, Svendsen LB, Achiam MP. Quantitative fluorescence angiography aids novice and experienced surgeons in performing intestinal resection in well-perfused tissue. Surg Endosc. 2021 May 3. doi: 10.1007/s00464-021-08518-7. Epub ahead of print. PMID: 33942183.

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