Laparoscopic cholecystectomy in a swine model using a novel near-infrared fluorescent IV dye (BL-760)

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date



Lasers in surgery and medicine








bile duct identification; fluorescence laparoscopy; laparoscopic cholecystectomy; near-infrared fluorescent dye


BACKGROUND AND OBJECTIVES: Bile duct injury during laparoscopic cholecystectomy has an incidence rate of 1%-2% and commonly appears under conditions of severe inflammation, adhesion, or unexpected anatomical variations. Despite the difficulties and rising concerns of identifying bile duct during surgeries, surgeons do not have a specific modality to identify bile duct except intraoperative cholangiography. While no biliary-specific fluorescent dye exists for clinical use, our team has previously described the development of a preclinical biliary-specific dye, BL-760. Here, we present our study of laparoscopic cholecystectomy using the fluorescent dye in a swine model. STUDY DESIGN/MATERIALS AND METHODS: With an approval from Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee, two 20-25 kg swine underwent laparoscopic abdominal surgery using a Food and Drug Administration-cleared fluorescent laparoscopic system. Images of the liver and gallbladder were taken both before and after intravenous injection of the novel fluorescent dye. The dye was dosed at 60 μg/kg and injected via the ear vein. The amount of time taken to visualize fluorescence in the biliary tract was measured. Fluorescent signal was observed after injection, and target-to-background ratio (TBR) of the biliary tract to surrounding cystic artery and liver parenchyma was measured. RESULTS: Biliary tract visualization under fluorescent laparoscopy was achieved within 5 min after the dye injection without any adverse effects. Cystic duct and extrahepatic duct were clearly visualized and identified with TBR values of 2.19 and 2.32, respectively, whereas no fluorescent signal was detected in liver. Cystic duct and artery were successfully ligated by an endoscopic clip applier with the visual assistance of highlighted biliary tract images. Laparoscopic cholecystectomy was completed within 30 min in each case without any complications. CONCLUSIONS: BL-760 is a novel preclinical fluorescent dye useful for intraoperative identification and visualization of biliary tract. Such fluorescent dye that is exclusively metabolized by liver and rapidly excreted into biliary tract would be beneficial for all types of hepato-biliary surgeries. With the validation of additional preclinical data, this novel dye has potential to be a valuable tool to prevent any iatrogenic biliary injuries and/or bile leaks during laparoscopic abdominal and liver surgeries.