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Laparoscopic Indocyanine Green Fluorescence Imaging for Intrahepatic Cholangiocarcinoma


Background: Indocyanine green fluorescence (ICG) is one of the first fluorophore that found a clinical application in medicine. In the liver, ICG fluorescence is due to the preserved uptake but impaired washout of the dye from hepatocellular cells into the bile ducts. Therefore, some hepatobiliary surgeons proposed the technique of intravenous ICG injection before surgery for the detection of superficial hepatocarcinomas (HCCs) and colorectal liver metastases (CRLMs). Little evidence exists regarding the use of ICG to identify other hepatic tumors, such as intrahepatic cholangiocarcinoma (ICC). We report two patients affected by ICC who underwent laparoscopic liver resection with lymphadenectomy, the ICG staining was routinely performed not only to evaluate the site of the hepatic lesions but also to guide the extension of liver resection.

Methods: It was injected intravenously a single dose of ICG dye (0.5 mg/kg) during liver function tests 5 days before scheduled surgery. All patients underwent laparoscopic staging with both laparoscopic ultrasound and ICG fluorescence imaging.

Results: It was identified two different patter of ICG imaging: rim and segmental fluorescence for mass forming and mixed ICC subtype respectively.

Conclusions: Identification of the ICC subtype before definitive histological examination may have an impact on the surgical plan.

Keywords: indocyanine green fluorescence imaging; intrahepatic cholangiocarcinoma; minimally invasive liver resection.


1Unit of Hepato-Bilio-Pancreatic and Digestive Surgery, Department of Health Sciences, University of Milan, San Paolo Hospital, Milan, Italy.

2General Surgery Residency Program, University of Milan, Milan, Italy.

3Unit of General Surgery, ASST Fatebenefratelli Sacco, Aziende Socio Sanitarie Territoriale Fatebenefratelli, Sacco, Italy.

4Division of General and Robotic Surgery, Department of Health Sciences, University of Milan, San Paolo Hospital, Milan, Italy.

PMID: 35605160 

DOI: 10.1177/00031348221103659

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