Cholecystectomy is indicated for gallbladder mucoceles (GBM). Evaluating the patency of the biliary duct and precise biliary tree visualization is crucial for reducing the risk of compromised bile flow after surgery. Therefore, intraoperative cholangiography (IOC) is recommended during cholecystectomy to prevent biliary tract injury. Although indocyanine green (ICG) cholangiography has been extensively reported in human medicine, only one study has been conducted in veterinary medicine. Therefore, this study aimed to demonstrate the use of ICG for IOC to identify fluorescent biliary tract images and determine the patency of the common bile duct during cholecystectomy in dogs.

This study comprised 27 dogs, consisting of 17 with gallbladder mucoceles (GBM) and 10 controls, specifically including dogs that had undergone elective cholecystectomy for GBM. ICG injection (0.25 mg/kg) was administered intravenously at least 45 minutes before surgery. During the operation, fluorescent images from cholangiography were displayed on the monitor and obtained in black-and-white mode for the comparison of fluorescence intensity (FI). The FI values of the gallbladders (GBs) and common bile duct (CBD) were measured using FI analyzing software (MGViewer V1.1.1, MetapleBio Inc.).

The results demonstrated successful CBD patency identification in all cases. Mobile GBM showed partial gallbladder visibility, whereas immobile GBM showed limited visibility. Additionally, insights into the adequate visualization of the remaining extrahepatic biliary tree anatomy were provided, extending beyond the assessment of CBD patency and gallbladder intensity. Our study demonstrates the potential of fluorescent IOC using intravenous injection of ICG for assessing the patency of the cystic duct and common bile duct during cholecystectomy in patients with GBM, eliminating the need for surgical catheterization and flushing of the biliary ducts. Further research is warranted to investigate and validate the broader applicability of ICG cholangiography in veterinary medicine.

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