Copyright (c) 2013 Jarmo T. Alander

Printed: Friday the 23rd August 2019 (Week 34)

ImageICGA for ClinICGA: Brain vein imaging

HUS Neurokirurgia "Motivation comes deep from brain"
HeSa 16.9.2008

How to help neurosurgeons by doing project works on automation?

Obs! Images shown here are links to more information (or source of the corresponding image).

Above image: (c) HUS

Background: Neurosurgery

ICGA /artery phase

Operation of brain veins is highly demanding neurosurgery.

Intraoperational blood circulation monitoring is essential for good results.

Problems in blood circulation can cause serious neurological damage or even dead.

Image: (c) 2008 K. Koivuporras

Indocyanine green contrast agent

Indocyanine green

Intraoperational blood circulation monitoring is possible with a chemical called indocyanine green (ICG), which fluorescents in near-infrared (800nm).

It was long used in imaging of blood veins in eye (ophthalmological angiography).

It is extremely harmless chemical that can be injected to blood circulation (max 5mg/kg/day).

Image: Wikimedia.

Fluorescent imaging

fluorescent imaging

Image: (c) 2008 J. T. Alander

ICGA / vein phase

Benefits of fluorescent imaging:


Image: (c) 2008 K. Koivuporras


Petrin verisuonet Near-Infra Red (NIR), (IR-A) is light that is not visible to human eye.

It behaves optically very similarly to visible light (optical lenses etc function well).

Silicon sensors are usually sensitive to NIR like most digital cameras.

Petri's NIR-camera page

Wikipedia: NIR

Image: (c) 2007-2008 P. Välisuo with a modified digital pocket camera.


Carl Zeiss surgical microscope Angiography = imaging of blood veins

Brain vein surgery is usually done with an operation microscope (binocular).

The latest operation microscopes have integrated fluorescent imaging system that can be used to blood circulation monitoring intraoperationally.

The microscope image (video) can be recorded for later analysis and documentation.

Wikipedia: Angiography

Image: (c) C. Zeiss


The method to use ICG in neurosurgical angiography was presented by A. Raabe et al:



movements and deformations disturb analysis of ICGA videos.


consecutive frames must be registered so that the corresponding parts are aligned properly.

The tasks are tailored to meet the summer traineer's skill profile.

Step by step


Here roughly what is expected:

Image: (c) 2007 J. Alander: chimney at Palosaari campus area

Skills needed

Luovan nuorisoseura

help much in proceeding with this Summer task.


ITK logo ITK window ITK is an open source software package for medical image processing that can be programmed/used with e.g.


Images: (c)



This project is a cooperation of several parties

University of Vaasa

Helsinki University

Helsinki University of Technology


More information

J. Alander J. Hernesniemi

jal Jarmo Alander

AUTOaivo (references to ICG papers; mainly neurology)

AUTOsilma (references to ICG papers; mainly ophthalmology)