Intraoperative bowel perfusion assessment methods and their effects on anastomotic leak rates: Meta-Analysis

Maxwell S. Renna*, Mariusz T. Grzeda, James Bailey, Alison Hainsworth, Sebastien Ourselin, Michael Ebner, Tom Vercauteren, Alexis Schizas, Jonathan Shapey

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)


Background: Anastomotic leak is one of the most feared complications of colorectal surgery, and probably linked to poor blood supply to the anastomotic site. Several technologies have been described for intraoperative assessment of bowel perfusion. This systematic review and meta-Analysis aimed to evaluate the most frequently used bowel perfusion assessment modalities in elective colorectal procedures, and to assess their associated risk of anastomotic leak. Technologies included indocyanine green fluorescence angiography, diffuse reflectance spectroscopy, laser speckle contrast imaging, and hyperspectral imaging. Methods: The review was preregistered with PROSPERO (CRD42021297299). A comprehensive literature search was performed using Embase, MEDLINE, Cochrane Library, Scopus, and Web of Science. The final search was undertaken on 29 July 2022. Data were extracted by two reviewers and the MINORS criteria were applied to assess the risk of bias. Results: Some 66 eligible studies involving 11 560 participants were included. Indocyanine green fluorescence angiography was most used with 10 789 participants, followed by diffuse reflectance spectroscopy with 321, hyperspectral imaging with 265, and laser speckle contrast imaging with 185. In the meta-Analysis, the total pooled effect of an intervention on anastomotic leak was 0.05 (95 per cent c.i. 0.04 to 0.07) in comparison with 0.10 (0.08 to 0.12) without. Use of indocyanine green fluorescence angiography, hyperspectral imaging, or laser speckle contrast imaging was associated with a significant reduction in anastomotic leak. Conclusion: Bowel perfusion assessment reduced the incidence of anastomotic leak, with intraoperative indocyanine green fluorescence angiography, hyperspectral imaging, and laser speckle contrast imaging all demonstrating comparable results.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1131-1142
Number of pages12
JournalBritish Journal of Surgery
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sept 2023


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