Fluorescence-Based Quantification of Gastrointestinal Perfusion: A Step Towards an Automated Approach

Harry G.M. Vaassen*, Bryan Wermelink, Robert H. Geelkerken, Daan J. Lips

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)
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Background: Qualitative fluorescence angiography (FA) provides insights into intestinal tissue perfusion, but today it is not yet accurate in predicting anastomotic leakage. To improve peroperative detection of impaired perfusion, quantified parameters should be investigated using a standardized method. The aim of this study was to develop a (semi)automated algorithm for comprehensive and convenient analysis of FA parameters. Materials and Methods: An analysis tool was developed for the extraction of quantified FA parameters. The start- and endpoint of intensity increase (T0 and Tmax) were automatically detected in the intensity-time curves. Algorithm performance was measured against manual assignment of T0 and Tmax by 9 independent observers in 18 in vivo generated test signals, using the intraclass correlation coefficient (ICC). Characteristics of parameter T12 (time to 50% of maximal intensity) were analyzed in normally perfused small intestine of 32 subjects who underwent robotic laparoscopic surgery. Since ethical approval was not required under the Dutch law, the need for informed consent was waived. Results: Automated detection of T0 and Tmax was successful in all subjects. Output of the algorithm had an excellent agreement with the median of the human observations: ICC = 0.95 (95% confidence interval: 0.86-0.96). Overall, T12 had a median value of 5.1 (interquartile range = 2.4) seconds and a minimal and maximal value of 1.3 and 9.9 seconds, respectively. Conclusions: The presented method provided convenient data analysis in the search for effective FA quantification. Future research should expand the data to find adequate threshold values for peroperatively identifying insufficient perfusion and investigate the influence of physiological conditions.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)293-298
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Laparoendoscopic and Advanced Surgical Techniques
Issue number3
Early online date19 Mar 2021
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2022


  • automated detection
  • fluorescence angiography
  • intestinal microcirculation
  • quantification


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