A reappraisal of vascular anatomy of the parathyroid gland based on fluorescence techniques
Identification of the parathyroid glands (PGs) during thyroid surgery may prevent their inadvertent surgical removal and prevent postoperative hypoparathyroidism. However, identification of the PGs does not guarantee their function, and their vascular supply needs to be preserved as well. The recent introduction of intraoperative indocyanine green (ICG) fluorescent angiography of the PGs during thyroid surgery allows for the appraisal of the vascular anatomy and evaluation of PG function. The use of this tool could lead to a significant reduction in the rate of postoperative hypoparathyroidism, as it allows surgeons to adapt their surgical technique for the preservation of the PGs. ICG fluorescent angiography is currently the only available real-time tool to assess the vascular blood supply of each individual PG intraoperatively and can thus assist surgeons in their decision-making. Herein, we review the relevant literature.