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Japan: Near-Infrared Fluorescence Imaging System

Visualizing Lymph and Blood Vessels During Cancer Treatment

| Editor: Alexander Stark

Lightvision near-infrared fluorescence imaging system
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Lightvision near-infrared fluorescence imaging system (Source: Shimadzu)

Shimadzu Corporation has entered the medical near-infrared camera market with the release of our new Lightvision near-infrared fluorescence imaging system. The new system is designed to support breast cancer treatment through the visualization of lymph vessels and blood vessels based on the detection of near-infrared fluorescent light emitted from indocyanine green (ICG).

Kyoto/Japan — The new system creates real time contrast images of lymph vessels below tissue surfaces by administering ICG through the lymph vessels, exposing the corresponding tissue to excitation light, and then detecting and visualizing the slight emission of near-infrared light from the ICG, which is invisible to the naked eye. By visualizing the lymph vessels during surgery, the surgeon can perform surgical procedures while monitoring the position of lymph vessels being excised, for example, on a monitor screen. This is especially useful for identifying the position of sentinel lymph nodes, which are important for diagnosing the metastasis status of cancer cells during breast cancer surgery, the company claims.

Furthermore, by visualizing the ICG administered through blood veins, the blood flow can also be confirmed during surgery by performing intraoperative angiography. This is especially useful for evaluating blood flow through flaps and anastomotic vessels during breast reconstructive surgery.

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The Lightvision is equipped with built-in high-definition sensors, producing high quality, real-time images on a single monitor, for surgeons to proceed with surgery. It also supports image acquisition in a bright field of view, without needing to switch OFF room lighting in the operating room. Its ability to display three images simultaneously means that a visible light image, a near-infrared fluorescence image and a combined visible light image with superimposed near-infrared fluorescence image can all be displayed simultaneously, in real-time, on the same monitor screen. This means that all three images can be assessed and compared with ease. To identify the position of lymph nodes, lymph vessels and blood vessels accurately in visible + near-infrared fluorescence images, areas of fluorescence can be displayed as either green or blue, providing clear visible separation from surrounding tissue.

The camera arm can be extended to a length of about 180 cm, providing optimal positioning during procedures, while the main unit is easily controlled via a simple and detachable control console. Excellent image quality is assured via automatic focusing, automatic light exposure adjustment and automatic white balance adjustment, while the images can be zoomed to a magnification of up to ten times.

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