Objective: In recent years, the utilization of indocyanine green near-infrared (ICG NIR) light imaging-guided lymph node dissection in the context of minimally invasive radical gastric cancer has emerged as a novel avenue for investigation. The objective of this study was to assess the influence of employing this technique for guiding lymph node dissection on the short-term clinical outcomes of minimally invasive radical gastric cancer surgery.
Methods: The present study conducted a comprehensive search for short-term clinical outcomes, comparing the group undergoing ICG NIR light imaging-guided lymph node dissection with the control group, by thoroughly examining relevant literature from the inception to July 2023 in renowned databases such as PubMed, Embase, Web of Science, and Cochrane Library. The primary endpoints encompassed postoperative complications, including abdominal infection, abdominal bleeding, pneumonia, anastomotic fistula, and overall incidence of complications (defined as any morbidity categorized as Clavien-Dindo class I or higher within 30 days post-surgery or during hospitalization). Additionally, secondary outcome measures consisted of the time interval until the initiation of postoperative gas and food intake, as well as various other parameters, namely postoperative hospital stay, operative time, intraoperative blood loss, total number of harvested lymph nodes, and the number of harvested metastatic lymph nodes. To ensure methodological rigor, the Cochrane Collaboration Risk of Bias Tool and the Newcastle-Ottawa Scale (NOS) were employed to assess the quality of the included studies, while statistical analyses were performed using Review Manager 5.4 software and Stata, version 12.0 software.
Results: A total of 19 studies including 3103 patients were ultimately included (n=1276 in the ICG group and n=1827 in the non-ICG group). In this meta-analysis, the application of ICG near-infrared light imaging in minimally invasive radical gastric cancer surgery effectively improved the occurrence of postoperative Clavien-Dindo grade II or higher complications in patients (RR=0.72, 95% CI 0.52 to 1.00) with a statistically significant P=0.05; in reducing intraoperative blood loss and shortening While reducing intraoperative blood loss and shortening postoperative hospital stay, it could ensure the thoroughness of lymph node dissection in minimally invasive radical gastric cancer surgery (MD=5.575, 95% CI 3.677-7.473) with significant effect size (Z=5.76, p<0.00001).
Conclusion: The utilization of indocyanine green near-infrared light imaging technology in the context of minimally invasive radical gastric cancer surgery demonstrates notable efficacy in mitigating the occurrence of postoperative complications surpassing Clavien-Dindo grade II, while concurrently augmenting both the overall quantity of lymph node dissections and the identification of positive lymph nodes, all the while ensuring the preservation of surgical safety. Furthermore, the implementation of this technique proves particularly advantageous in the realm of robotic-assisted radical gastric cancer surgery, thus bearing significance for enhancing the short-term prognostic outcomes of patients.