Department of Orthopedics Trauma and Microsurgery, Zhongnan Hospital of Wuhan University, Wuhan, Hubei 430071, P. R. China.
#These authors contributed equally to this work.
Objective: NIR-II imaging with indocyanine green (ICG) has been clinically used in liver tumor resection. However, few data are available concerning the application of ICG-NIR-II in lymphatic and vascular systems in clinic. To expand the application and promote the clinical translation of this approach, we aimed to investigate the feasibility of ICG-NIR-II imaging for monitoring both lymphatic and vascular systems in physiological and pathological conditions using a swine model and compared it to ICG-NIR-I imaging.
Methods: we constructed a portable NIR-II imaging system suitable for large animals. Different simulated clinical scenarios in lymphatic and vascular systems of pigs, including lymphatic drainage, lymphorrhea, lymphatic obstruction, lymphatic reconstruction in flaps, venous thrombus formation and vascular anastomosis were modeled to evaluate the reliability of our NIR-II imaging system and the imaging quality of ICG in the NIR-I/II window.
Results: Under different simulated clinical scenarios, our portable NIR-II imaging system showed good reliability for pigs. With the help of the portable imaging system, dynamical visualization of lymph vessels, lymph nodes and blood vessels of pigs in different clinical scenarios could be achieved in NIR-II imaging by using the tail fluorescence of ICG. Moreover, ICG-NIR-II imaging has lower background fluorescence and higher resolution than ICG-NIR-I imaging.
Conclusions: We demonstrated the first application of a portable NIR-II imaging system for dynamically monitoring both lymphatic and vascular systems in physiological and pathological conditions using a swine model. Our study indicates that ICG-NIR-II imaging be a promising approach for the diagnosis of malfunctions in lymphatic and vascular systems and the surgical navigation of microsurgery and reconstructive surgery.
Keywords: NIR-II imaging, surgical navigation, microsurgery, diagnosis, vascular system malfunction, lymphatic system malfunction