Background: An aberrant left hepatic artery is frequently encountered during upper gastrointestinal surgery, and researchers have yet to propose optimal strategies with which to address this arterial variation. The objective of this study was to determine whether the areas perfused by an aberrant left hepatic artery can be visualized in real-time using near-infrared fluorescence imaging with indocyanine green. Methods: Patients with gastric adenocarcinoma who underwent minimally invasive radical gastrectomy from May 2018 to August 2019 were enrolled and retrospectively analyzed at a single-center. Patients with an aberrant left hepatic artery and normal preoperative liver function were examined. After the clamping of an aberrant left hepatic artery, indocyanine green was administered via a peripheral intravenous route during surgery. Fluorescence at the liver was visualized under near-infrared fluorescence imaging. Results: In 31 patients with aberrant left hepatic arteries, near-infrared fluorescence imaging was used without adverse events associated with indocyanine green. Six (19%) patients were reported to have an aberrant left hepatic artery upon preoperative CT imaging, while all other instances were detected during surgery. Fluorescence excitation on the liver was, on average, visible after 43 s (range, 25–65). Fluorescence across the entire surface of the liver was noted in 20 (65%) patients in whom the aberrant left hepatic artery could be ligated. Aberrant left hepatic arteries were safely preserved in 10 (32%) patients who showed areas of no or partial fluorescence excitation. Guided by near-infrared fluorescence imaging, ligation of aberrant left hepatic arteries elicited no significant changes in postoperative liver function. Conclusion: Near-infrared fluorescence imaging facilitates the identification of aberrant left hepatic arterial territories, guiding decisions on the preservation or ligation of this arterial variation.
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