Indocyanine green fluorescence and near-infrared autofluorescence may improve post-thyroidectomy parathyroid function

Published:October 13, 2022DOI:



      Near-infrared autofluorescence and indocyanine green fluorescence are 2 recent tools introduced to improve postoperative parathyroid function during thyroid surgery.


      We conducted a randomized prospective study. Patients undergoing total thyroidectomy were randomly assigned either to the fluorescence group, in which near-infrared autofluorescence and indocyanine green fluorescence were used, or to the control group. The primary outcomes of the study were the rate of postoperative transient and symptomatic hypocalcemia.


      A significantly higher number of parathyroid glands were identified in the fluorescence group (3.83 vs 3.64, P = .028). The rate of postoperative symptomatic hypocalcemia was significantly lower in the fluorescence group (6% vs 17%, P = .015), as was the dosage (1.53 vs 1.91 g, P = .007) and the duration of calcium therapy (32.30 vs 45.66 days, P = .003). Having at least 2 well-vascularized parathyroid glands correlates to lower rates of transient hypocalcemia (7.4% vs 21.9%, P = .037) as well as to higher serum calcium (8.70 vs 8.42 mg/dL, P = .027) and parathyroid hormone levels (19.15 vs 11.4 pg/mL, P = .0002) on postoperative day 1.


      Near-infrared autofluorescence and indocyanine green fluorescence are novel tools that may support the endocrine surgeon in preserving and predicting post-thyroidectomy parathyroid gland function.
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