Background: Hepatectomy stands as a curative management for liver cancer. The critical factor for minimizing recurrence rate and enhancing overall survival of liver malignancy is to attain a negative margin hepatic resection. Recently, Indocyanine green (ICG) fluorescence imaging has been proven implemental in aiding laparoscopic liver resection, enabling real-time tumor identification and precise liver segmentation. The purpose of this study is to conduct a systematic review and meta-analysis to ascertain whether ICG-guided laparoscopic hepatectomy yields a higher incidence of complete tumor eradication (R0) resections.

Results: In a total of seven studies, involving 598 patients, were included in the meta-analysis. The ICG demonstrated a significantly elevated R0 resection rate compared to the non-ICG group [98.6% (359/364) vs. 93.1% (339/364), odds ratio (OR) = 3.76, 95% confidence intervals (CI) 1.45-9.51, P = 0.005]. Notably, no heterogeneity was observed (I2 = 0%, P = 0.5). However, the subtype analysis focusing on hepatocellular carcinoma [98.2% (165/168) vs. 93.6% (161/172), OR = 3.34, 95% CI 0.94-11.91, P = 0.06) and the evaluation of margin distance (4.96 ± 2.41 vs. 2.79 ± 1.92 millimeters, weighted mean difference = 1.26, 95% CI -1.8-4.32, P = 0.42) revealed no apparent differences. Additionally, the incidence of overall postoperative complications was comparable between both groups, 27.6% (66/239) in the ICG group and 25.4% (75/295) in the non-ICG group (OR = 0.96, 95% CI 0.53-1.76, P = 0.9). No disparities were identified in operative time, intraoperative blood loss, postoperative blood transfusion, and length of hospital stay after the surgery.

Conclusions: The implementation of ICG-guided laparoscopic hepatectomy can be undertaken with confidence, as it does not compromise either intraoperative or postoperative events. Furthermore, the ICG-guided approach is beneficial to achieving a complete eradication of the tumor during hepatic resection.

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