Background: Endoscopic tattooing of colorectal lesions has been performed employing several markers. The indocyanine green (ICG) that uses near infrared fluorescence technology, has been recently adopted in laparoscopic colorectal cancer surgery. This study aims to systematically review the international literature to validate the ICG in laparoscopic colorectal surgery, in order to include the ICG in the therapeutic protocol.

Methods: Following AMSTAR 2 criteria, we performed a systematic review to evaluate the use of green indocyanine as a marker for preoperative endoscopic tattooing and for lymph nodes mapping. The study selection was conducted using the PubMed database from January 1989 to July 2022.

Results: We identified 25 eligible studies. 13 based on fluorescent tumor localization in laparoscopic colorectal surgery using ICG while 12 of them reported the lymphatic road mapping and sentinel node identification by ICG using a near-infrared camera system. One study analyzed both topics.

Conclusions: In laparoscopic colorectal cancer surgery indocyanine green can be used to localize fluorescent tumors and mapping fluorescence lymph node. The use of ICG appears to be a valid and safe technique that helps the surgeon to achieve a better oncological radicality. However, the protocols need to be clarified by further studies.

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