DOI: 10.1097/as9.0000000000000354 ISSN: 2691-3593

Intraoperative Fluorescence Imaging During Robotic Pancreatoduodenectomy to Detect Suture-Induced Hypoperfusion of the Pancreatic Stump as a Predictor of Postoperative Pancreatic Fistula (FLUOPAN): Prospective Proof-of-concept Study

Jeffrey W. Chen, Sanne Lof, Maurice J. W. Zwart, Olivier R. Busch, Freek Daams, Sebastiaan Festen, Zhi Ven Fong, Melissa E. Hogg, Maxime D. Slooter, Els J.M. Nieveen van Dijkum, Marc G. Besselink,
  • Pharmacology (medical)
  • Complementary and alternative medicine
  • Pharmaceutical Science


A potential downside of robotic pancreatoduodenectomy (RPD) is the lack of tactile feedback when tying sutures, which could be especially perilous during pancreatic anastomosis. Near-infrared fluorescence imaging with indocyanine green (NIRF-ICG) could detect transpancreatic-suture-induced hypoperfusion of the pancreatic stump during RPD, which may be related to postoperative pancreatic fistula (POPF) grade B/C, but studies are lacking.


This prospective study included 37 patients undergoing RPD to assess the relation between pancreatic stump hypoperfusion as objectified with NIRF-ICG using Firefly and the rate of POPF grade B/C. In 27 patients, NIRF-ICG was performed after tying down the transpancreatic U-sutures. In 10 ‘negative control’ patients, NIRF-ICG was performed before tying these sutures.


Pancreatic stump hypoperfusion was detected using NIRF-ICG in 9/27 patients (33%) during RPD. Hypoperfusion was associated with POPF grade B/C (67% [6/9 patients] versus 17% [3/18 patients], P = 0.026). No hypoperfusion was objectified in 10 ‘negative controls’.


Transpancreatic-suture-induced pancreatic stump hypoperfusion can be detected using NIRF-ICG during RPD and was associated with POPF grade B/C. Surgeons could use NIRF-ICG to adapt their suturing approach during robotic pancreatico-jejunostomy. Further larger prospective studies are needed to validate the association between transpancreatic-suture-induced hypoperfusion and POPF.

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