Although ICG-FA may be valuable in assessing anastomotic perfusion, reliable data on its use in pediatric gastrointestinal surgery is lacking. This systematic review analyzes whether ICG is useful for intestinal perfusion assessment in pediatric gastrointestinal surgery and safe to use in neonates.
Methods: Systematic searches of PubMed, EMBASE & MEDLINE and CENTRAL were performed (last conducted December 6, 2021). The main inclusion criteria were (1) use of ICG for intestinal perfusion assessment and (2) use of ICG in young infants.
Results: Regarding intestinal perfusion assessment, four studies were included, reporting 45 patients (median age 1.5 years). ICG was considered useful for anastomotic blood flow evaluation and intraoperative determination of resection length. Regarding ICG safety in neonates, eight studies were included, reporting 46 infants (median age 24.9 days), of which 18 neonates. All but one studies reported the absence of complications or adverse events. Two studies reported subcutaneous dye retention, which fully disappeared within two weeks.
Conclusion: Although the number of available studies is small, ICG might be useful for intraoperative intestinal perfusion assessment, perhaps even more than conventional clinical assessment. Furthermore, its safety profile looks promising in neonates.