Methods: An expert panel of surgeons has been selected and invited to participate to this project. Systematic reviews of the PubMed, Embase and Cochrane libraries were performed to identify evidence on potential benefits of ICG fluorescence-guided surgery on clinical practice and patient outcomes. Statements and recommendations were prepared and unanimously agreed by the panel; they were then submitted to all EAES members through a two-rounds online survey and results presented at the EAES annual congress, Barcelona, November 2021.
Results: A total of 18,273 abstracts were screened with 117 articles included. 22 statements and 16 recommendations were generated and approved. In some areas, such as the use of ICG fluorescence-guided surgery during laparoscopic cholecystectomy, the perfusion assessment in colorectal surgery and the search for the sentinel lymph nodes in gynaecological malignancies, the large number of evidences in literature has allowed us to strongly recommend the use of ICG for a better anatomical definition and a reduction in post-operative complications.
Conclusions: Overall, from the systematic literature review performed by the experts panel and the survey extended to all EAES members, ICG fluorescence-guided surgery could be considered a safe and effective technology. Future robust clinical research is required to specifically validate multiple organ-specific applications and the potential benefits of this technique on clinical outcomes.