[Skip to Content]
[Skip to Content Landing]
April 17, 1967

Indocyanine Green Clearance as a Test for Hepatic Function: Evaluation by Dichromatic Ear Densitometry

Author Affiliations

From the Division of Hepatic Metabolism and Nutrition, Department of Medicine, New Jersey College of Medicine and Dentistry, the Jersey City Medical Center, Jersey City, and the East Orange, New Jersey, Veterans Administration Hospital, East Orange, NJ.

JAMA. 1967;200(3):236-240. doi:10.1001/jama.1967.03120160102016

A study of clearance of dyes which are removed from the circulation principally by the liver constitutes one of the best methods for evaluating hepatic function. This approach has not been widely used because of the need for multiple blood sampling to calculate accurately removal rate of sulf obromophthalein (BSP) and for radioisotope-counting equipment for clearance studies of rose bengal I 131.1 These disadvantages are largely overcome by indocyanine green (ICG), which possesses physical properties which permit external recording of blood dye levels. The major limitation of ICG has been the fact that, in doses conventionally used, it has proven much less sensitive than BSP in detecting mild liver-cell damage2 or demonstrating the excretory defect produced by synthetic androgenicanabolic steroids.3

Levels of ICG have been recorded by use of an air-cooled oximeter to measure light transmission4 or electric eye to determine light reflection.5 Accuracy of