Universal fluorescence module for intraoperative fluorescein angiography

Acta Neurochirurgica (2019) 161:1343–1348

Even in specialized centers, suboptimal aneurysm clipping can be as high as 12%. Intraoperative fluorescence angiography with indocyanine green and, more recently, fluorescein sodium have been shown to be a good method for intraop- erative flow assessment. However, the cost with the apparatus it entails limits its widespread use.

We have developed a low-cost universal fluorescence module (FM) designed to visualize fluorescein and perform intraoperative angiography. The purpose of this paper is to describe this device as well as to present our early experience with its use in the treatment of cerebral aneurysms.

Method A FM was designed and built using a cyan-blue narrow bandpass (460 to 490 nm) excitation filter and a yellow-orange longpass (blocking wavelengths under 520 nm) barrier filter mounted on a 3D-printed holding tray in a specific disposition to perfectly match the light source and the objective lens of the surgical microscope. It allowed switching from white light to fluorescence mode in a simple and sterile fashion. Its perfect attachment to the microscope was possible by reusing the lens fittings extracted from used original drape sets that would otherwise be discarded. Four patients underwent aneurysm clipping using the FM at two institutions from April to September 2018.

Results A bright green fluorescence against a dark background was observed after intravenous bolus of fluorescein. Blood vessels became obviously distinct from non-contrast-filled structures such as clipped aneurysms and the brain. Vascular anatomy could be appreciated without any distortion, including perforating arteries.

Conclusions Intraoperative fluorescence angiography was successfully performed with the use of this universal FM after intra- venous injection of fluorescein sodium. This simple and low-cost device may be useful in resource-limited centers, where other sorts of intraoperative angiography are not available.