Vascular pressure monitorization for necessity of vascular augmentation in a rat extended abdominal perforator flap model
In case blood perfusion compromises, vascular enhancement with arterial supercharge or venous superdrainage can increase viability of the flap. In this study, vascular pressure monitorization was used in a rat extended abdominal perforator flap model to reveal intraoperative vascular compromise and the need for vascular augmentation. A rat abdominal perforator flap was designed, which was based on the right second cranial perforator of epigastric artery. Vascular pressures of the flap were monitored continuously for 60 min, by catheters placed in the right superficial inferior epigastric artery and vein. Forty rats were divided into four experimental groups, as follows: group 1 (n = 10, no vascular augmentation), group II (n = 10, arterial supercharge), group III (n = 10, venous superdrainage), and group IV (n = 10, arterial and venous augmentation). Arterial supercharge and/or venous superdrainage were performed by using the left superficial inferior epigastric artery and vein. After the rats were sacrificed on the 7th day, total flap area and necrotic regions were evaluated. Mean arterial blood pressure was found significantly lower (P < 0.05) and mean venous blood pressure was measured significantly higher (P < 0.05) in group I than the groups II, III, and IV. Flap survival area was also larger in the groups II, III, and IV than the group I (P < 0.05). The results of this experimental study demonstrate that arterial insufficiency and venous congestion are almost always present in the rat extended abdominal perforator flap model, similar to deep inferior epigastric perforator flap. When such an extended perforator flap is used, arterial and venous pressure monitorization may be considered as a tool to support intraoperative clinical findings to reveal the need of vascular augmentation and ascertain flap viability. (C) 2012 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. Microsurgery, 2012.