Successful Long-term Extracorporeal Perfusion of Free Musculocutaneous Flaps in a Porcine Model
SourceJournal of Surgical Research, 235, (2019), pp. 113-123
Article / Letter to editor
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Journal of Surgical Research
SubjectRadboudumc 17: Women's cancers RIHS: Radboud Institute for Health Sciences
BACKGROUND: Extracorporeal perfusion is a technique that aims to safely prolong tissue preservation by reducing ischemia-reperfusion injury. Free muscle flaps provide a sensitive research model due to their low ischemic tolerance. However, long-term perfusion of free muscle flaps is scarcely researched. The aim of this study was to compare tissue damage in musculocutaneous flaps during 36 h of extracorporeal perfusion versus static cold storage. MATERIALS AND METHODS: Bilateral free rectus abdominis flaps were harvested from five Dutch Landrace pigs (weight: 53-59 kg). Flaps were treated for 36 h according to the following study groups: (1) cold storage at 4 degrees C-6 degrees C (n = 4), (2) perfusion with histidine-tryptophan-ketoglutarate (HTK) at 8 degrees C-10 degrees C (n = 3), (3) perfusion with University of Wisconsin solution (UW) at 8 degrees C-10 degrees C (n = 3). Perfusion fluid samples (creatinine kinase, blood gas) and biopsies for quantitative polymerase chain reaction were collected at multiple time points. Microcirculation was assessed at 24 h of preservation using indocyanine-green fluorescence angiography. Flap weight was measured at the start and end of the preservation period. RESULTS: Successful and stable perfusion for 36 h was achieved in all perfused flaps. The mean creatinine kinase increase in the perfusion fluid was comparable in both the groups (UW: +43,144 U/L, HTK: +44,404 U/L). Mean lactate was higher in the UW group than in the HTK group (6.57 versus 1.07 mmol/L). There were homogenous and complete perfusion patterns on indocyanine-green angiography in both the perfusion groups, in contrast to incomplete and inhomogeneous patterns during cold storage. Expression of genes related to apoptosis and inflammation was lower in perfused flaps than in the cold storage group. Weight increase was highest in the HTK group (78%; standard deviation [SD], 29%) compared with UW (22%; SD, 22%) and cold storage (0.7%; SD, 4%). CONCLUSIONS: Long-term extracorporeal perfusion of free rectus abdominis flaps is feasible. Outcomes in the perfusion groups seemed superior compared to cold storage. Hypotheses gained from this research need to be further explored in a replantation setting.
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