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Initial experience with a new quantitative assessment tool for fluorescent imaging in peripheral artery disease

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Abstract.Background: Perioperative evaluation in peripheral artery disease (PAD) by common vascular diagnostic tools is limited by open wounds, medial calcinosis or an altered collateral supply of the foot. Indocyanine green fluorescent imaging (ICG-FI) has recently been introduced as an alternative tool, but so far a standardized quantitative assessment of tissue perfusion in vascular surgery has not been performed for this purpose. The aim of this feasibility study was to investigate a new software for quantitative assessment of tissue perfusion in patients with PAD using indocyanine green fluorescent imaging (ICG-FI) before and after peripheral bypass grafting. Patients and methods: Indocyanine green fluorescent imaging was performed in seven patients using the SPY Elite system before and after peripheral bypass grafting for PAD (Rutherford III-VI). Visual and quantitative evaluation of tissue perfusion was assessed in an area of low perfusion (ALP) and high perfusion (AHP), each by three independent investigators. Data assessment was performed offline using a specially customized software package (Institute for Laser Technology, University Ulm, GmbH). Slope of fluorescent intensity (SFI) was measured as time-intensity curves. Values were compared to ankle-brachial index (ABI), slope of oscillation (SOO), and time to peak (TTP) obtained from photoplethysmography (PPG). Results: All measurements before and after surgery were successfully performed, showing that ABI, TTP, and SOO increased significantly compared to preoperative values, all being statistically significant (P < 0.05), except for TTP (p = 0.061). Further, SFI increased significantly in both ALP and AHP (P < 0.05) and correlated considerably with ABI, TTP, and SOO (P < 0.05). Conclusions: In addition to ABI and slope of oscillation (SOO), the ICG-FI technique allows visual assessment in combination with quantitative assessment of tissue perfusion in patients with PAD. Ratios related to different perfusion patterns and SFI seem to be useful tools to reduce factors disturbing ICG-FI measurements.