Intraoperative Coronary Artery Imaging for Planning

      A clear understanding of coronary anatomy is critical in congenital heart surgery, especially when a ventriculotomy is planned, as in right ventricular outflow tract reconstructions and biventricular repairs. Typically, major epicardial coronary arteries are easily identified during first-time operations. However, in reoperative surgery, epicardial adhesions can obscure coronary vessels making their identification challenging. This paper describes the application of intraoperative fluorescence imaging in congenital heart surgery to obtain real-time coronary artery visualization for operative planning in order to avoid coronary injury. The fluorescence imaging utilizes indocyanine green (ICG). ICG is diluted to 0.28 mg/mL, and 0.1–1.0 mL of ICG solution is delivered via the cardioplegia cannula into the coronaries. A handheld imaging probe illuminates the field with near-infrared laser light, which excites ICG fluorescence. The fluorescence is captured by a camera, and the signal is transmitted to a monitor for real-time viewing. The imaging probe shows the precise coronary anatomy, enabling identification of the optimal ventriculotomy site. Intraoperative fluorescence imaging is a safe and effective technique for characterizing coronary anatomy. This technique enhances procedural planning and helps minimize the risk of coronary injury during reoperative congenital heart surgery.

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