Necrotizing soft-tissue infections (NSTIs) are aggressive and deadly. Immediate surgical debridement is standard-of-care, but patients often present with non-specific symptoms, thereby delaying treatment. Because NSTIs cause microvascular thrombosis, we hypothesized that perfusion imaging using indocyanine green (ICG) would show diminished fluorescence signal in NSTI-affected tissues, particularly compared to non-necrotizing, superficial infections.
Through a first-in-kind clinical study, we performed first-pass ICG fluorescence perfusion imaging of patients with suspected NSTIs. Early results support our hypothesis that ICG signal voids occur in NSTI-affected tissues and that dynamic contrast-enhanced fluorescence parameters reveal tissue kinetics that may be related to disease progression and extent.