Indocyanine green in the surgical management of endometriosis: A systematic review

Manuel M. Ianieri, Luigi Della Corte, Federica Campolo, Francesco Cosentino, Ursula Catena, Giuseppe Bifulco, Giovanni Scambia

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Introduction: Endometriosis is a very common disease that affects up to 10% of the female population. The use of indocyanine green (ICG) dye has been proposed to allow the proper localization of endometriotic lesions during surgery. Our purpose is to offer an overview of near-infrared (NIR)-ICG in the surgical treatment of superficial peritoneal endometriosis and deep infiltrating endometriosis. Material and methods: Electronic databases were searched, including MEDLINE, Embase, Web of Science, Scopus,, OVID and Cochrane Library. The studies were identified with the use of a mesh combination of the following keywords: “indocyanine green”, “endometriosis”, “deep endometriosis”, “robotic surgery”, “laparoscopy”, “ureter”, “rectosigmoid” from 2000 to May 2020. All articles describing the use of ICG applied to endometriosis surgery were considered for review. Only original papers that reported specific experience data on the topic were included. Moreover, video-articles were included in the analysis. Quality and risk of bias were evaluated by two authors, respectively. Results: Fifty-three studies were reviewed and reviews or comment articles not reporting original data and original articles lacking specific data on the application of ICG in patients affected by endometriosis were excluded. The quality of the 17 studies included was assessed. Eight studies suggested the usefulness of NIR-ICG as a tool in the detection of endometriosis during surgery, and one randomized controlled trial and one prospective study did not confirm the advantage of its use. Eight studies found that NIR-ICG was useful for the evaluation of vascularization in intestinal anastomoses and ureterolysis after surgery for deep infiltrating endometriosis. Conclusions: NIR-ICG appears useful in the evaluation of vascularization in intestinal anastomoses after segmental resection, confirming its role even after ureterolysis for parametrial deep infiltrating endometriosis. However, its usefulness as a tool in the detection of endometriosis during surgery is inconsistent.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)189-199
Number of pages11
JournalActa Obstetricia et Gynecologica Scandinavica
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2021


  • bowel endometriosis
  • deep infiltrating endometriosis
  • indocyanine green
  • near-infrared
  • ureterolysis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Obstetrics and Gynaecology


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