BACKGROUND: Incisionless near-infrared fluorescent cholangiography (NIFC) is emerging as a promising tool to enhance the visualization of extrahepatic biliary structures during laparoscopic cholecystectomies.
METHODS: We conducted a single-blind, randomized, 2-arm trial comparing the efficacy of NIFC (n = 321) versus white light (WL) alone (n = 318) during laparoscopic cholecystectomy. Using the KARL STORZ Image1 S imaging system with OPAL1 technology for NIR/ICG imaging, we evaluated the detection rate for 7 biliary structures-cystic duct (CD), right hepatic duct (RHD), common hepatic duct, common bile duct, cystic common bile duct junction, cystic gallbladder junction (CGJ), and accessory ducts -before and after surgical dissection. Secondary calculations included multivariable analysis for predictors of structure visualization and comparing intergroup biliary duct injury rates.
RESULTS: Predissection detection rates were significantly superior in the NIFC group for all 7 biliary structures, ranging from 9.1% versus 2.9% to 66.6% versus 36.6% for the RHD and CD, respectively, with odds ratios ranging from 2.3 (95% CI 1.6-3.2) for the CGJ to 3.6 (1.6-9.3) for the RHD. After dissection, similar intergroup differences were observed for all structures except CD and CGJ, for which no differences were observed. Significant odds ratios ranged from 2.4 (1.7-3.5) for the common hepatic duct to 3.3 (1.3-10.4) for accessory ducts. Increased body mass index was associated with reduced detection of most structures in both groups, especially before dissection. Only 2 patients, both in the WL group, sustained a biliary duct injury.
CONCLUSIONS: In a randomized controlled trial, NIFC was statistically superior to WL alone visualizing extrahepatic biliary structures during laparoscopic cholecystectomy.
REGISTRATION NUMBER: NCT02702843.