Background: Meta-analyses have demonstrated that indocyanine green (ICG) can effectively prevent anastomotic leakage (AL) after colorectal surgery. However, recent evidence from large randomized controlled trial (RCT) has suggested that ICG fluorescence angiography does not reduce the incidence of AL in colorectal surgery. This study was conducted to evaluate the value of ICG for the prevention of AL following colorectal surgery.
Results: Twenty studies (5 RCTs and 15 PSM studies) with a total of 5,125 patients were included. ICG did not reduce the reoperation rate (OR, 0.71; 95% CI, 0.38, 1.30), conversion rates (OR, 1.34; 95% CI, 0.65, 2.78), or mortality (OR, 0.50; 95% CI, 0.13, 1.85), but ICG did reduce the incidence of AL (OR, 0.46; 95% CI, 0.36, 0.59) and symptomatic AL (SAL) (OR, 0.48; 95% CI, 0.33, 0.71), and reduced the length of hospital stay (MD,−1.21; 95% CI,−2.06,−0.35) and intraoperative blood loss (MD,−9.13; 95% CI,−17.52,−0.74). In addition, ICG use did not increase the incidence of total postoperative complications (OR, 0.93; 95% CI, 0.64, 1.35), postoperative ileus (OR, 1.26; 95% CI, 0.53, 2.97), wound infection (OR, 0.76; 95% CI, 0.44, 1.32), urinary tract infection (OR, 0.87; 95% CI, 0.30, 2.59), pulmonary infection (OR, 0.23; 95% CI, 0.04, 1.45), urinary retention (OR, 1.08; 95% CI, 0.23, 5.04), anastomotic bleeding (OR, 1.53; 95% CI, 0.27, 8.60), anastomotic stricture (OR, 0.74; 95% CI, 0.24, 2.29), or operative time (MD,−9.64; 95% CI,−20.28, 1.01).
The meta-analysis showed that ICG can effectively reduce the AL rate, SAL rate, blood loss, and hospital stays, without prolonging the operation time or increasing postoperative complications in colorectal surgery. …We found that ICG use was associated with a reduced incidence of SAL. Previous studies have shown that the incidence of AL is related to the position of the anastomotic, and the lower the position, the higher the risk of AL (23, 47). Therefore, the trial of low anterior resection was used as a subgroup in this study, and the results of subgroup analysis showed that ICG could effectively reduce the incidence of AL in this high-risk population. Similarly, a retrospective study by Jafari et al. (15) found that the risk of AL in robot-assisted rectal surgery was reduced to 6% in the ICG group, compared with 18% in the control group.
Conclusions: ICG can effectively reduce the incidence of AL, without prolonging the operation time or increasing postoperative complications in colorectal surgery.