J Reconstr Microsurg 2020, undertook a study evaluating use of ICG in free flap reconstruction surgery. “Reliable perfusion of the distal portions of free flaps is decisive for the reconstructive success. Indocyanine green near-infrared video angiography (ICG-NIR-VA) has been adopted for objective assessment of free flap tissue perfusion but is thus far not used on a routine basis. When ICG-NIR-VA was relied on (82 out of 88 flaps; 93.2%), there was no unpredicted postoperative tissue necrosis (overestimation). When ICG-NIR-VA was not relied on (6 out of 88 flaps; 6.8%), there were five cases of postoperative partial flap necrosis and one case of uneventful healing (underestimation). The sensitivity of ICG-NIR-VA was 100% (95% confidence interval [CI]: 64.6–100) and the specificity was 98.8% (95% CI: 93.3–100) with a positive predictive value of 87.5% (95% CI: 52.9–99.4) and a negative predictive value of 100% (95% CI: 95.4–100).
Conclusion: Intraoperative ICG-NIR-VA objectified free flap perfusion and thus refined surgical decision-making on flap design in all cases. It could always predict tissue necrosis and subjectively improved outcomes in free flap surgery at our institution. Furthermore, it could be easily implemented in intraoperative routine, only adding minimal additional operative time”.


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