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Indocyanine Green Fluorescence Angiography in Minor Lower Extremity Amputations: A Useful Technique?

      Abstract

      Complications remain despite conventional methods aimed at improving survivorship of lower extremity amputations. High rates of wound dehiscence, readmission, and revision surgery warrant the development of innovative methods to improve amputation survivorship. One such method employs the use of indocyanine green dye (ICG); an inert chemical injected intraoperatively which can be used to visualize dermal blood flow in real time. There is little objective data available to help guide the use of indocyanine green in limb salvage procedures. The present study compares a group of 31 patients undergoing minor lower extremity amputation with the use of indocyanine green with a control group of 62 patients in which traditional methods were used. Minimum follow-up of 9 months was obtained, leaving 93 patients in total for analysis. Success was defined as a healed amputation within 60 days of follow-up. Uneventful amputation healing occurred in 35.5% and 33.9% of indocyanine green and control patients, respectively. Overall, there was no significant difference in outcomes between groups (p = .965), or success versus failure (p = 1.0). Patient undergoing minor lower extremity amputation with the use of ICG fluorescence angiography did not have statistically inferior outcomes to patients who underwent amputations at the same level with traditional assessments of perfusion. Further research involving the use of this technique is warranted.

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