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Minerva Chirurgica 2003 June;58(3):361-8


language: English

Neurovenous superficial inferior epigastric flaps in rats

Valdatta L., Reguzzoni M., Buoro M., Congiu T., Thione A., Tuinder S., Fidanza C.


Background. We performed an experimental study on 46 male rats to evaluate the vitality of superficial inferior epigastric neurovenous flaps performed following different procedures.
Methods. Rats were divided into 5 groups: A (n=6), B (n=10), C (n=10), D (n=10) and E (n=10). On each rat a hemi-abdominal flap based on the superficial inferior epigastric pedicle was raised. In group A the flap was sutured into its original position, isolating it from underlying tissues by a latex glove patch. In group B an arteriectomy of the superficial inferior epigastric artery was performed. In group C the superficial inferior epigastric artery was sectioned at its origin, without dissecting it out of the pedicle. In group D and E the same procedures performed respectively in group B and C were followed, but the epigastric pedicles were immediately explanted for optic microscope observation. Flap vitality in groups A, B and C was checked after 7 days.
Results. Flaps in group A appeared completely vital: the glove did not interfere with flap survival. All flaps in group B looked necrotic. In group C, 9 flaps survived completely and 1 flap underwent complete necrosis. Pedicle specimens of the viable flaps (group C) were explanted for observation under the optic microscope. Each specimen from groups C, D, E revealed a rich vascular plexus in the connective tissue around the pedicle. Seven days after surgery, neo-microangiogenesis was evident.
Conclusions. The results witness the importance of perivenous and perineural arterioles for neurovenous flaps survival, also considering the adaptive increase in capillary development in the days following surgery.

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