Surgical Endoscopy

, Volume 32, Issue 6, pp 2620–2631 | Cite as

Diagnostic evaluation of sentinel lymph node biopsy using indocyanine green and infrared or fluorescent imaging in gastric cancer: a systematic review and meta-analysis

  • Daniel Skubleny
  • Jerry T. Dang
  • Samuel Skulsky
  • Noah Switzer
  • Chunhong Tian
  • Xinzhe Shi
  • Christopher de Gara
  • Daniel W. Birch
  • Shahzeer Karmali



Sentinel node navigation surgery (SNNS) for gastric cancer using infrared visualization of indocyanine green (ICG) is intriguing because it may limit operative morbidity. We are the first to systematically review and perform meta-analysis on the diagnostic utility of ICG and infrared electronic endoscopy (IREE) or near infrared fluorescent imaging (NIFI) for SNNS exclusively in gastric cancer.


A search of electronic databases MEDLINE, EMBASE, SCOPUS, Web of Science, and the Cochrane Library using search terms “gastric/stomach” AND “tumor/carcinoma/cancer/neoplasm/adenocarcinoma/malignancy” AND “indocyanine green” was completed in May 2017. Articles were selected by two independent reviewers based on the following major inclusion criteria: (1) diagnostic accuracy study design; (2) indocyanine green was injected at tumor site; (3) IREE or NIFI was used for intraoperative visualization. 327 titles or abstracts were screened. The quality of included studies was assessed using the Quality Assessment of Diagnostic Accuracy Studies-2.


Ten full text studies were selected. 643 patients were identified with the majority of patients possessing T1 tumors (79.8%). Pooled identification rate, diagnostic odds ratio, sensitivity, and specificity were 0.99 (0.97–1.0), 380.0 (68.71–2101), 0.87 (0.80–0.93), and 1.00 (0.99–1.00), respectively. The summary receiver operator characteristic for ICG + IREE/NIFI demonstrated a test accuracy of 98.3%. Subgroup analysis found improved test performance for studies with low-risk QUADAS-2 scores, studies published after 2010 and submucosal ICG injection. IREE had improved diagnostic odds ratio, sensitivity, and identification rate compared to NIFI. Heterogeneity among studies ranged from low (I2 < 25%) to high (I2 > 75%).


We found encouraging results regarding the accuracy, diagnostic odds ratio, and specificity of the test. The sensitivity was not optimal but may be improved by a strict protocol to augment the technique. Given the number and heterogeneity of studies, our results must be viewed with caution.


Gastric Sentinel Node Indocyanine green Infrared 


Compliance with ethical standards


Ms. Xinzhe Shi, Chunghong Tian, Drs Daniel Skubleny, Jerry T. Dang, Samuel Skulsky, Noah Switzer, Christopher de Gara, Daniel W. Birch, and Shahzeer Karmali have no conflicts of interest or financial ties to disclose.


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© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Surgery, Faculty of Medicine and Dentistry, 2D, Walter C Mackenzie Health Sciences CentreUniversity of AlbertaEdmontonCanada
  2. 2.Faculty of Medicine and DentistryUniversity of AlbertaEdmontonCanada
  3. 3.Centre for the Advancement of Minimally Invasive Surgery (CAMIS)Royal Alexandra HospitalEdmontonCanada

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