- Department of Neurosurgery, The First Affiliated Hospital of Xiamen University, Xiamen, China
- Department of Neurosurgery, Fujita Health University Hospital, Toyoake, Japan
- Department of Neurosurgery, Bombay Hospital Institute of Medical Sciences, Mumbai, Maharashtra, India
Department of Neurosurgery, Fujita Health University Hospital, Toyoake, Japan
DOI:10.4103/2152-7806.78517Copyright: © 2011 Chen SF This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.
How to cite this article: Chen SF, Kato Y, Oda J, Kumar A, Watabe T, Imizu S, Oguri D, Sano H, Hirose Y. The application of intraoperative near-infrared indocyanine green videoangiography and analysis of fluorescence intensity in cerebrovascular surgery. Surg Neurol Int 31-Mar-2011;2:42
How to cite this URL: Chen SF, Kato Y, Oda J, Kumar A, Watabe T, Imizu S, Oguri D, Sano H, Hirose Y. The application of intraoperative near-infrared indocyanine green videoangiography and analysis of fluorescence intensity in cerebrovascular surgery. Surg Neurol Int 31-Mar-2011;2:42. Available from: http://sni.wpengine.com/surgicalint_articles/the-application-of-intraoperative-near-infrared-indocyanine-green-videoangiography-and-analysis-of-fluorescence-intensity-in-cerebrovascular-surgery/
Objective:To evaluate the usefulness and limitations of the intraoperative near-infrared (NIR) indocyanine green videoangiography (ICG-VA) and analysis of fluorescence intensity in cerebrovascular surgery.
Methods:Forty-eight patients received ICG-VA during various surgical procedures from May 2010 to August 2010. Included among them were 45 cases of cerebral aneurysms and 3 cases of cerebral arteriovenous malformations (AVMs). The infrared fluorescence module integrated into the surgical microscope was used to visualize fluorescent areas in the surgical field. An integrated analytical visualization tool constantly analyzed the fluorescence video sequence and generated it in the form of an intensity diagram for objective interpretation.
Results:Overall, the procedure of ICG VA was done 158 times in 48 patients. There was no adverse effect of ICG dye. In cerebral aneurysm cases, the images obtained were of high resolution. In 4 cases, incomplete clipping was detected by ICG-VA and allowed suitable adjustment to completely obliterate the aneurysm. In 3 aneurysm cases, the intensity diagram of ICG VA provided valuable information. ICG-VA identiﬁed the feeding arteries, the draining veins, and nidus in all 3 AVM cases, which was conﬁrmed by an immediate analysis of fluorescence intensity.
Conclusions:ICG-VA provides high resolution images allowing real-time assessment of the blood flow in surgical field. The intensity analysis function, in addition, is a useful adjunct to improve the accuracy of the clipping and decrease the complication rates in cerebral aneurysm cases. In cerebral AVM cases, with the help of color map and intensity diagram function, the superficial feeders, drainers, and nidus can be identified easily.
Keywords: Cerebral aneurysm, cerebral arteriovenous malformation, indocyanine green videoangiography
Fluorescence angiography was first used in neurosurgical procedures by Feindel to evaluate cerebral microcirculation by using the fluorescent dye “fluorescein.”[
Data regarding 45 cases of cerebral aneurysms and 3 cases of cerebral AVMs who were subjected to microsurgical treatment at our center from May 2010 to August 2010 were collected and evaluated retrospectively. Of these 48 cases, 15 were male and 33 were female. The mean age was 59.2 years (range 11–78 years). Among the 45 cases of cerebral aneurysms, there were 38 patients with unruptured aneurysms and 7 patients with ruptured ones. Those with ruptured aneurysms, the Hunt and Hess grade was grade II in 1 patient, grade III in 3 patients, and grade IV in another 3. Among the 3 cases of cerebral AVMs, there were 2 Spetzler Martin grade II AVMs and one was Spetzler Martin grade IV. Two patients underwent preoperative embolization.
A written informed consent for the use of intravenous ICG injection was obtained preoperatively from the patient or his/her relatives depending on the patient's condition. The surgical procedures to occlude the aneurysms or resect the AVM nidus were performed as usual. Intraoperative ICG-VA was performed according to the surgeon's decision, before or/and after the clip application in aneurysm cases and similarly once before, 2–4 times during the resection, and once after the resection of the AVM.
Following clipping of the aneurysm, micro-Doppler examination was routinely performed in all patients to assess blood flow in parent artery and other branching vessels. In most cases we also used endoscopy to directly visualize the adequate application of the clip. A three-dimensional computed tomography angiography (3D-CTA) examination was done in all cases before and 2–3 days following the surgery.
All 3 AVM cases underwent Digital Subtraction Angiography (DSA) 6–9 days postoperatively. The results of resection shown by ICG-VA and DSA were compared.
Intraoperative ICG videoangiography
Intraoperative ICG-VA was performed in all cases during the surgery. The NIR fluorescence module integrated into the surgical microscope (Carl Zeiss Surgical GmbH, Flow 800, 73447 Oberkochen, Germany) was used to visualize fluorescent areas in the surgical field and permitted the recording of a video of the emitted fluorescent light. The recommended dose of ICG-VA is 0.2–0.5mg/kg and the daily dose should not exceed 5 mg/kg. In this series, all patients received a standard dose of 12.5 mg per injection dissolved in 2.5 mL of water. The recording was started and a calculated bolus of ICG was administered to the patient by the anesthesiologist on the surgeon's command. Real-time video images of arterial, capillary, and venous phases of angiogram were observed on the video screen. The recorded video signal was simultaneously analyzed by an analytical visualization tool (FLOW 800, Carl Zeiss, Oberkochen, Germany) integrated into the surgical microscope and interpreted as an intensity diagram and a color map, which helped to study the findings objectively.
Altogether, 45 cerebral aneurysms and 3 AVMs were treated in this series. Overall, the procedure of ICG VA was done 158 times in 48 patients. None of the cases had any adverse effect related to the ICG dye. In all these cases, the images obtained were of high resolution and allowed real-time assessment of the blood flow in the surgical field. The results were analyzed as follows:
In the 3 AVM patients, ICG-VA was performed before and after the resection. Two of these 3 patients had the injection twice and 1 patient had it 4 times during the resection. The video recorded before or during resection was simultaneously analyzed by the analytical visualization tool. The feeding arteries, draining veins, and nidus in all 3 AVM cases were identified and this was confirmed by the immediate analysis of the fluorescence intensity by way of a graph and a color map. The postoperative DSA disclosed that the nidus was totally resected in all the cases and the results corresponded to the intraoperative ICG-VA findings. In all 45 cases of cerebral aneurysms, the ICG VA detected incomplete clipping in 4 cases (4/45, 8.9%), including one case of delayed filling of ICG, which was confirmed by the intensity diagram. All these 4 residual aneurysms were completely occluded after clip adjustment and repeat ICG VA demonstrated the complete obliteration later. In addition, the ICG VA identified the perforating arteries arising close to or from the neck of the aneurysm in the surgical field of 12 aneurysms and allowed real-time assessment of the blood flow. In 2 of these 12 cases, clip was readjusted after the occlusion of a perforating artery was detected following an initial clip application. There was no major branch occlusion or residual aneurysm on the postoperative 3D-CTA.
In the 3 AVM patients, ICG-VA was performed before and after the resection. Two of these 3 patients had the injection twice and 1 patient had it 4 times during the resection. The video recorded before or during resection was simultaneously analyzed by the analytical visualization tool. The feeding arteries, draining veins, and nidus in all 3 AVM cases were identified and this was confirmed by the immediate analysis of the fluorescence intensity by way of a graph and a color map. The postoperative DSA disclosed that the nidus was totally resected in all the cases and the results corresponded to the intraoperative ICG-VA findings.
In all 45 cases of cerebral aneurysms, the ICG VA detected incomplete clipping in 4 cases (4/45, 8.9%), including one case of delayed filling of ICG, which was confirmed by the intensity diagram. All these 4 residual aneurysms were completely occluded after clip adjustment and repeat ICG VA demonstrated the complete obliteration later. In addition, the ICG VA identified the perforating arteries arising close to or from the neck of the aneurysm in the surgical field of 12 aneurysms and allowed real-time assessment of the blood flow. In 2 of these 12 cases, clip was readjusted after the occlusion of a perforating artery was detected following an initial clip application. There was no major branch occlusion or residual aneurysm on the postoperative 3D-CTA.
In all the following illustrative cases, the intensity diagram of ICG VA provided valuable information. Although, these are only representative cases and further studies are required to validate the final efficacy, the information generated by the fluorescence intensity graph in all these cases (1 AVM and 2 aneurysms) was found extremely useful.
Case 1: This 56-year-old patient had a Spetzler-Martin Grade IV right parietal AVM, which was incidentally detected during a routine brain screening medical program. DSA revealed that the nidus was fed by the right anterior, middle, and posterior cerebral arteries, and was draining into superior sagittal sinus. This patient underwent 3 procedures of embolization and presented to us with a sudden-onset hemiparesis due to an intracerebral hemorrhage after the last embolization. The hematoma was evacuated and decompression surgery was also performed. Seven months after this surgery, this patient was re-admitted in our hospital for definitive resection of the nidus. Intraoperative ICG-VA clearly demonstrated feeding arteries from anterior and middle cerebral arteries. The subsequent intensity diagram and color map facilitated the distinction of AVM vessels, namely, feeding arteries, draining veins, arterialized veins from other normal vessels, such as arteries en passage [
(a) Preoperative 3D-CT angiogram demonstrating a grade IV right parietal arteriovenous malformation (AVM), which had been partially embolized before surgery. The AVM was fed by right anterior, middle, and posterior cerebral arteries. (b) Intraoperative view showing the nidus and dilated draining veins. (c) Corresponding indocyanine green videoangiography showing the feeder arteries (arrow) and early venous filling during the late arterial phase. (d) The color map employs colors to instantly identify the direction and sequence of blood flow. Red represents the initial blood inflow, followed by a gradient color scale for subsequent blood flow sequences. (e) Intensity diagram showing the peak fluorescence values of feeding arteries (FA), draining veins (DV), and cortical veins (CV) appear in 3 different periods. (f) After clipping the superficial feeding arteries, the color of the draining veins changed from orange to green
Case 2: A 53-year-old woman presented with recurrent severe headache. She was found to have 2 aneurysms located in the right middle cerebral artery [
(a) Intraoperative indocyanine green videoangiography (ICG-VA) image showing 2 aneurysms located on the right middle cerebral artery. (b) Repeat ICG-VA after clipping of the proximal aneurysm showing the originally injected volume still detectable in the aneurysm (green mark). (c) Corresponding color map showing the aneurysm region was devoid of any flow. (d) The intensity diagram demonstrating that the curve of aneurysm (green color) had no obvious upslope, which implied complete obliteration
Case 3: A 62-year-old woman presented with progressive headache and vertigo and was diagnosed as having 2 aneurysms arising from right A2-anterior communicating artery junction, one projecting anteroinferiorly and the other projecting medially [
(a) Intraoperative indocyanine green videoangiography (ICG-VA) after complete dissection of the first aneurysm showing the filling in the aneurysm. The anterior communicating artery and both A2 segments are clearly observed prior to clip application. (b) The post clipping ICG-VA during the venous phase demonstrating a glimmer of fluorescence in the aneurysmal sac (arrow), suggestive of residual filling into the aneurysm. (c) Corresponding color map showing a portion of the aneurysm with a blue color (arrow). (d) The intensity diagram showing the fluorescence intensity curve of the aneurysm (purple curve) as a continuously ascending curve with a slope value of 12.16 AI/S (average intensity/second)
ICG is a NIR fluorescent dye that was approved by the Food and Drug Administration in 1956 for cardiocirculatory and liver function diagnostic uses. After an intravenous injection, the ICG binds tightly to plasma proteins and remains restricted within the intravascular compartment. After a half-life of 3–4 min, it is eliminated from circulation exclusively by the hepatic metabolism into the bile juice. It is used for evaluating the cardiac output, the hepatic functions, and also to assess the blood flow across the vascular anastomosis. It is used widely in ophthalmology for assessing the retinal microcirculation.[
ICG-VA is a noninvasive and safe method of real-time blood-flow assessment that can be used in patients with intracranial aneurysms, AVMs, and other vascular lesions. As compared with DSA, ICG VA directly gives a reliable display of the blood flow in the smallest perforator visible in the surgical field. The simplicity, speed, excellent image quality, and resolution provided by the microscope integrated ICG-VA allows a surgeon to readjust the clip before an irreversible damage can occur. The information provided by ICG VA can be used either as complementary to DSA for visualization of small arteries or as an alternative to DSA in noncomplex aneurysms.[
The major limitation of ICG-VA is the restricted view offered in accordance to the concerned surgical approach.[
Another limitation of ICG VA is that the calcification, atherosclerotic plaque or thick wall of the aneurysm may attenuate the fluorescent signals and affect the ICG angiographic results.[
The intensity color map and graph functions are analytical visualization tools for rapid interpretation of fluorescence video sequences generated using ICG VA. The infrared fluorescence module has been designed for excitation in the wavelength ranging from 700 to 850 nm and for fluorescence visualization in the wavelength ranging from 780 to 950 nm. The image, which cannot be observed through the surgical microscope, is visualized using a special camera on the touch-screen monitor assembled with the microscope. After adjusting the focus, the field of interest is set at the center with the recommended working distance of less than approximately 300 mm. A configured button on the handgrip activates the fluorescence function. The surgical field is illuminated by a light source (NIR-light) with a wavelength covering the ICG absorption band. Video recording is also started immediately when the fluorescence function has been activated. The video signal is constantly analyzed for fluorescence flow.
The color map employs colors to instantly identify the direction and sequence of blood flow. Red represents the initial blood inflow (arteries), followed by a gradient color scale for subsequent blood flow sequences with veins demonstrating blue color [
(a) The color map of a sylvian fissure employing different colors to instantly identify the direction and sequence of blood flow. Red represents the initial blood inflow, followed by a gradient color scale for subsequent blood flow sequences. (b) In the intensity diagram, the peak fluorescence values of arteries and veins appear at 2 different times
In the intensity graphic diagram, the surgeon can freely define the regions to be evaluated. The peak fluorescence values of arteries and veins appear at 2 different times [
The ICG dye has a plasma half-life of 3–4 min.[
The surgeon could retract the brain tissue or adjust the angle of microscope to get the optimal view during ICG-VA. However, if the intensity color map and diagram functions were to be performed, the interested vessels needed to be kept in the same location during the whole ICG VA process.
As mentioned above, the study still has certain limitations. Due to small number of cases, especially the AVM ones, larger-scale systematic studies and clinical research enrolling more patients are required to further assess the value of the analytical fluorescence intensity function.
ICG-VA allows a real-time assessment of the blood flow during procedures involving the cerebral aneurysms and AVMs. The intensity diagram function is a very useful adjunct to ICG-VA for objectively documenting the blood flow in the aneurysmal sac and in the vessels involved in an AVM. The color map demonstrates an overview of the blood flow dynamics at a single glance and facilitates distinction between feeding arteries, draining veins, and nearby arteries en passage. Thus, it may minimize the complications and lead to improved outcomes in cerebrovascular surgery.
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