Colorectal liver metastases (CRLM) afflict a significant proportion of patients with colorectal cancer (CRC), ranging from 25% to 30% of patients throughout the course of the disease. In recent years, there has been a surge of interest in the application of near-infrared fluorescence (NIRF) imaging as an intraoperative imaging technique for liver surgery.

The utilisation of NIRF-guided liver surgery, facilitated by the administration of fluorescent dye indocyanine green (ICG), has gained traction in numerous medical institutions worldwide. This innovative approach aims to enhance lesion differentiation and provide valuable guidance for surgical margins. The use of ICG, particularly in minimally invasive surgery, has the potential to improve lesion detection rates, increase the likelihood of achieving R0 resection, and enable anatomically guided resections. However, it is important to acknowledge the limitations of ICG, such as its low specificity.

Consequently, there has been a growing demand for the development of tumour-specific fluorescent probes and the advancement of camera systems, which are expected to address these concerns and further refine the accuracy and reliability of intraoperative fluorescence imaging in liver surgery. While NIRF imaging has been extensively studied in patients with CRLM, it is worth noting that a significant proportion of published research has predominantly focused on the detection of hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC).

In this study, we present a comprehensive literature review of the existing literature pertaining to intraoperative fluorescence imaging in minimally invasive surgery for CRLM. Moreover, our analysis places specific emphasis on the techniques employed in liver resection using ICG, with a focus on tumour detection in minimal invasive surgery (MIS). Additionally, we delve into recent developments in this field and offer insights into future perspectives for further advancements.

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