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In Surgical endoscopy ; h5-index 65.0

INTRODUCTION : Despite increasing endorsement of near-infrared perfusion assessment using indocyanine green (ICG) during colorectal surgery, little work has yet been done regarding learning curve and interobserver variation most especially on surgical video reflective of real-world usage.

METHODS : Surgeons with established expertise in ICG usage were invited to participate in the study along with others without such experience including trainees. All participants completed an opinion questionnaire and interpreted video presentations of fluorescence angiograms in a variety of colorectal case scenarios. An interactive video platform (Mindstamp) enabled dynamic annotation. Statistical analysis of data was performed using Kruskal-Wallis and Mann-Whitney testing as well as Intraclass Correlation Coefficients and Fleiss Multi-rater Kappa Scoring.

RESULTS : Forty participants (six experts) completed questionnaire data and provided judgement of 14 videos (nine showing proximal colonic transection site perfusion, four showing completed anastomoses and one an acutely strangulated bowel). 70% felt > 10 cases were needed for competency in use with the majority of experts advocating > 50 (p < 0.05). Overall agreement among experts was "good" for videos showing colonic transection perfusion (versus "moderate" among in-experts) with experts clustering more distally. In contrast, there was no interpretation concordance among experts or in-experts when judging ICG perfusion sufficiency on a yes/no basis.

CONCLUSION : Significant experience is recommended before reliance on ICG perfusion angiograms. ICG fluorescence assessment is prone to variable interpretation and influenced by experience and, perhaps, knowledge of preassessment operative steps suggesting a role for objective flow analysis with artificial intelligence methods as the next phase of this technology.

Hardy Niall P, Dalli Jeffrey, Khan Mohammad Faraz, Andrejevic Predrag, Neary Peter M, Cahill Ronan A


Colorectal surgery, Indocyanine green, Interobserver variability, Learning curve, Near-infrared laparoscopy, Perfusion angiogram