Preclinical evaluation of robotic-assisted sentinel lymph node fluorescence imaging

Michael A. Liss, Salman Farshchi-Heydari, Zhengtao Qin, Sean A. Hickey, David J. Hall, Christopher J. Kane, David R. Vera

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


An ideal substance to provide convenient and accurate targeting for sentinel lymph node (SLN) mapping during robotic-assisted surgery has yet to be found. We used an animal model to determine the ability of the FireFly camera system to detect fluorescent SLNs after administration of a dual-labeled molecular imaging agent. Methods: We injected the footpads of New Zealand White rabbits with 1.7 or 8.4 nmol of tilmanocept labeled with 99mTc and a near-infrared fluorophore, IRDye800CW. One and 36 h after injection, popliteal lymph nodes, representing the SLNs, were dissected with the assistance of the FireFly camera system, a fluorescence-capable endoscopic imaging system. After excision of the paraaortic lymph nodes, which represented non-SLNs, we assayed all lymph nodes for radioactivity and fluorescence intensity. Results: Fluorescence within all popliteal lymph nodes was easily detected by the FireFly camera system. Fluorescence within the lymph channel could be imaged during the 1-h studies. When compared with the paraaortic lymph nodes, the popliteal lymph nodes retain greater than 95% of the radioactivity at both 1 and 36 h after injection. At both doses (1.7 and 8.4 nmol), the popliteal nodes had higher (P < 0.050) optical fluorescence intensity than the paraaortic nodes at the 1- and 36-h time points. Conclusion: The FireFly camera system can easily detect tilmanocept labeled with a near-infrared fluorophore at least 36 h after administration. This ability will permit image acquisition and subsequent verification of fluorescence-labeled SLNs during robotic-assisted surgery. COPYRIGHT

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1552-1556
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Nuclear Medicine
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 1 2014
Externally publishedYes


  • Fluorescent tilmanocept
  • Robotic-assisted surgery
  • Sentinel lymph node mapping

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging


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