Background: The novel technique of indocyanine green (ICG)-based fluorescence optical imaging (FOI) using the Xiralite® system (Rheumascan) has been the subject of many different studies worldwide since approval for clinical use in the European Union (2009), USA (2014) and Asia. The FOI depicts the disturbed microcirculation in the joints of both hands caused by inflammation.
Objective: The aim of this article is to provide an overview of the current state of studies on ICG-based FOI in different rheumatologic indications.

Methods: A narrative literature review of publications on ICG-based FOI in the diagnosis of various inflammatory rheumatic joint diseases since 2010 is presented, its use in treatment monitoring is explained, and its value in systemic sclerosis is outlined.
Results: In summary, studies have extensively demonstrated the accuracy of FOI in inflammation detection. Therefore, it can be concluded that FOI is a good supplement to existing imaging modalities. Due to characteristic patterns of both skin and nails, FOI is an indicated procedure especially in psoriatic arthritis and can be very helpful in the diagnostic process in early undifferentiated arthritis. The FOI has shown its usefulness in children (juvenile idiopathic arthritis), for monitoring the course of treatment, and for demonstrating disturbed microcirculation in patients with systemic sclerosis.

Conclusion: The presented data imply that FOI should be considered as a valuable complementary imaging tool in the diagnostic algorithm of daily rheumatologic practice, both for diagnosis and for follow-up monitoring. In particular, the automated analyses should be able in the future to objectify measurements of inflammatory activity as well as monitoring the response to treatment.

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