As many as 80,000 patients a year in the US undergo thyroidectomies or parathyroidectomies for diseased glands. About 21% of these surgeries result in disruption of blood supply to health parathyroid glands, which, if unaddressed, may result in long-term hypocalcemia. Surgeons need to know as soon as possible whether or not the blood supply to a parathyroid gland has been disrupted, as this informs their decision on whether or not to excise and reimplant the gland. There is a non-trivial failure rate involved in this transplantation process, and in the absence of an objective gold-standard surgeons often rely on subjective visual inspection in making this decision. Here we present Laser Speckle Imaging as a real-time objective method to assess parathyroid viability. Our device consists of a 785 nm laser source and a near-infrared camera with a zoom lens, positioned above the surgical field with an articulated arm. With the laser diffusing light onto the tissue, the camera acquires images which are processed in real-time and displayed on a monitor. These speckle contrast images are then averaged and the relative difference in speckle contrast between the parathyroid gland and surrounding thyroid tissue is calculated and correlated with the surgeon’s assessment of viability. Preliminary findings from in vivo measurement of 9 diseased glands show 100% agreement with the surgeon when taking a greater than 5% relative difference to indicate devascularization. This device has the potential to be used as an intraoperative tool for assessing parathyroid viability.
Emmanuel Mannoh, Giju Thomas, Carmen C. Solorzano, and Anita Mahadevan-Jansen, "Intraoperative detection of parathyroid gland perfusion during endocrine surgeries (Conference Presentation)," Proc. SPIE 10054, Advanced Biomedical and Clinical Diagnostic and Surgical Guidance Systems XV, 1005415 (Presented at SPIE BiOS: January 31, 2017; Published: 18 April 2017); https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2261890.5371877820001.
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