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Keywords:

  • sentinel lymph node;
  • indocyanine green;
  • lymphedema;
  • free flaps;
  • axillary reverse mapping;
  • sentinel lymph node biopsy

Abstract

Ever since Kitai first performed fluorescent navigation of sentinel lymph nodes (SLNs) using indocyanine green (ICG) dye with a charge-couple device and light emitting diodes, the intraoperative use of near infrared fluorescence has served a critical role in increasing our understanding in various fields of surgical oncology. Here the authors review the emerging role of the ICG fluorophore in the development of our comprehension of the lymphatic system and its use in SLN mapping and biopsy in various cancers. In addition, they introduce the novel role of ICG-guided video angiography as a new intraoperative method of assessing microvascular circulation. The authors attempt to discuss the promising potential in addition to assessing several challenges and limitations in the context of specific surgical procedures and ICG as a whole. PubMed and Medline literature databases were searched for ICG use in clinical surgical settings. Despite ICG's significant impact in various fields of surgical oncology, ICG is still in its nascent stages, and more in-depth studies need to be carried out to fully evaluate its potential and limitations. Cancer 2011;. © 2011 American Cancer Society.