Indocyanine green fluorescence imaging during partial adrenalectomy


Indocyanine green fluorescence imaging during partial adrenalectomy


Maximilian Lerchenberger, Ufuk Gündogar, Norah Al Arabi, Julia K. S. Gallwas, Herbert Stepp, Klaus K. J. Hallfeldt & Roland Ladurner 



Indocyanine green (ICG) fluorescence imaging represents an emerging technology that facilitates the assessment of tissue vascularity, tissue distinction, and tumor localization during surgery. The aim of this study was to investigate the potential role of ICG imaging during laparoscopic partial adrenalectomy.


Indocyanine fluorescence imaging was carried out during laparoscopic partial adrenalectomy for bilateral pheochromocytoma and bilateral Cushing’s syndrome. A first bolus of 5 mg ICG was applied intravenously upon exposure of the retroperitoneal plane to identify the adrenal borders. The fluorescence was visualized using a Storz® NIR/ICG endoscopic system. As the camera of this system detects NIR light as a blue signal, the well-vascularized adrenal tissue was expected to show a strong fluorescence in the blue color channel in contrast to the surrounding adipose tissue. Following partial adrenalectomy, a second bolus of 5 mg ICG was applied intravenously to evaluate the vascularity of the remaining adrenal tissue.


We investigated six adrenal glands from three patients undergoing bilateral partial adrenalectomy. The indication for surgery was pheochromocytoma in two patients and Cushing’s syndrome with bilateral adenomas in one patient. Regarding left adrenalectomies, ICG imaging was helpful in visualizing the adrenal borders and the adrenal vein. Further, it facilitated the identification of the hypofluorescent pheochromocytoma and to resect the entire tumor. On the right side, due to the more apparent anatomy, ICG imaging did not contribute to the conduct of the operation. Four adrenal remnants showed a strong vascularization and two remnants were only reasonably vascularized.


ICG fluorescence may be helpful in guiding partial adrenalectomy and assessing the vascularity of remaining adrenal tissue.

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Year 2020
Language English
Format PDF
DOI 10.1007/s00464-019-06985-7