Dis Esophagus. 2020 Oct 3:doaa100. doi: 10.1093/dote/doaa100. Online ahead of print.
BACKGROUND: Fluorescence angiography (FA) assesses anastomotic perfusion during esophagectomy with gastric conduit reconstruction, but its interpretation is subjective. This study evaluated time to fluorescent enhancement in the gastric conduit, with the aim to determine a threshold to predict postoperative anastomotic complications.
METHODS: In a prospective cohort study, all consecutive patients undergoing esophagectomy with gastric conduit reconstruction from July 2018 to October 2019 were included. FA was performed before anastomotic reconstruction following injection of indocyanine green (ICG). During FA, the following time points were recorded: ICG injection, first fluorescent enhancement in the lung, at the base of the gastric conduit, at the planned anastomotic site, and at ICG watershed or in the tip of the gastric conduit. Anastomotic complications including anastomotic leakage and clinically relevant strictures were documented.
RESULTS: Eighty-four patients were included, the majority (67 out of 84, 80%) of which underwent an Ivor Lewis procedure. After a median follow-up of 297 days, anastomotic leakage was observed in 12 out of 84 (14.3%) and anastomotic stricture in 12 out of 82 (14.6%). Time between ICG injection and enhancement in the tip was predictive for anastomotic leakage (P = 0.174, area under the curve = 0.731), and a cut-off value of 98 seconds was derived (specificity: 98%). All times to enhancement at the planned anastomotic site and ICG watershed were significantly predictive for the occurrence of a stricture, however area under the curves were <0.7.
CONCLUSIONS: The identified fluorescent threshold can be used for intraoperative decision making or to identify potentially high-risk patients for anastomotic leakage after esophagectomy with gastric conduit reconstruction.