The use of the white-light thoracoscopy is hampered by the low contrast between oncologic margins and surrounding normal parenchyma. As a result, many patients with in situ or micro-infiltrating adenocarcinoma have to undergo lobectomy due to a lack of tactile and visual feedback in the resection of solitary pulmonary nodules.
Near-infrared (NIR) guided indocyanine green (ICG) fluorescence imaging technique has been widely investigated due to its unique capability in addressing the current challenges; however, there is no special consensus on the evidence and recommendations for its preoperative and intraoperative applications.
This manuscript will describe the development process of a consensus on ICG fluorescence-guided thoracoscopic resection of pulmonary lesions and make recommendations that can be applied in a greater number of centers. Specifically, an expert panel of thoracic surgeons and radiographers was formed. Based on the quality of evidence and strength of recommendations, the consensus was developed in conjunction with the Chinese Guidelines on Video-assisted Thoracoscopy, and the National Comprehensive Cancer Network (NCCN) guidelines on the management of pulmonary lesions. Each of the statements was discussed and agreed upon with a unanimous consensus amongst the panel. A total of 6 consensus statements were developed.
Fluorescence-guided thoracoscopy has unique advantages in the visualization of pulmonary nodules, and recognition and resection of the anterior plane of the pulmonary segment. The expert panel agrees that fluorescence-guided thoracoscopic surgery has the potential to become a routine operation for the treatment of pulmonary lesions.