Current diagnostic modalities for patients with peripheral artery disease (PAD) mainly focus on the macrovascular level. For assessment of tissue perfusion, near-infrared (NIR) fluorescence imaging using indocyanine green (ICG) seems promising. In this prospective cohort study, ICG NIR fluorescence imaging was performed pre- and post-revascularization to assess changes in foot perfusion.

Methods: ICG NIR fluorescence imaging was performed in 36 patients with PAD pre- and post-intervention. After intravenous bolus injection of 0.1 mg/kg ICG, the camera registered the NIR fluorescence intensity over time on the dorsum of the feet for 15 min using the Quest Spectrum Platform®. Time-intensity curves were plotted for three regions of interest (ROI): (1) the dorsum of the foot, (2) the forefoot, and (3) the hallux. Time-intensity curves were normalized for maximum fluorescence intensity. Extracted parameters were the maximum slope, area under the curve (AUC) for the ingress, and the AUC for the egress. The non-treated contralateral leg was used as a control group.

Results: Successful revascularization was performed in 32 patients. There was a significant increase for the maximum slope and AUC egress in all three ROIs. The most significant difference was seen for the maximum slope in ROI 3 (3.7%/s to 6.6%/s, p < 0.001). In the control group, no significant differences were seen for the maximum slope and AUC egress in all ROIs.

Conclusions: This study shows the potential of ICG NIR fluorescence imaging in assessing the effect of revascularization procedures on foot perfusion.

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