Osteocutaneous flap prefabrication in rats

Top H., Mavi A., Barutcu A., Yilmaz O.

PLASTIC AND RECONSTRUCTIVE SURGERY, vol.113, no.2, pp.574-584, 2004 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier identifier


Composite tissue defects may involve skin, mucosa, muscle, and bone together or in combinations of two or three of these tissues. Defects involving bone and skin are frequently encountered. Osteocutaneous flaps may be used to reconstruct these composite tissue defects. Sometimes, it is not possible to obtain a vascular osteocutaneous flap. Another way of producing an osteocutaneous flap that has the desired feature is prefabrication. Prefabrication of osteocutaneous flaps can be performed in two ways: (1) a vascularized osseous flap may be grafted with skin and (2) an osteocutaneous flap can be prefabricated by implanting an osseous graft into air axial island flap. There are many articles describing osteocutaneous flap prefabrication, but there is no comparison of both methods in the literature. As an experimental model for osteocutaneous flap prefabrication, rat tail bone was chosen. For the experiments, five groups were formed. Each group contained 10 rats. In the first experimental group, a vascularized osseous segment was skin grafted and an osteocutaneous flap was prefabricated. In the second experimental group, an osseous graft was implanted into an axial skin flap. To compare viability of skin and bone components of the two prefabrication groups, vascularized tail bone was elevated with overlying skin in the third group, a bone flap was elevated in the fourth group, and a skin flap that had been prefabricated by using vascular implantation was elevated in the fifth group. The authors examined five rats in each group by microangiography at the end of 4 weeks. On microangiographic analysis, all groups showed patency of vascular pedicles. There was no difference among the groups from the point of view of vascular patency and bone appearance. Bone scintigraphy was performed on the live rats in each group. On bone scintigraphic scans, the bone component of flaps was visualized in all groups except for group 5. The mean radioactivity value on the flap side was 10,362 +/- 541.1 in group 1, 10,241 1173 in group 2,10,696 +/- 647.1 in group 3, and 10,696 647.1 in group 4. When the radioactivity values on the flap side were compared, no statistically significant difference among groups was seen, except for grout) 5 (p < 0.05). To evaluate bone metabolic activity, the bone component of flap and remaining last tail bone was bar-vested and the radioactivity of each specimen was measured with a well-type gamma counter. The parameter of percentage radioactivity in counts per minute per unit per gram of tissue was calculated. The value of the bone component of the flap side and the value of normal bone were estimated and results were compared. The mean result was 0.86 +/- 0.08 in group 1, 0.88 +/- 0.07 in group 2, 0.87 +/- 0.07 in group 3, and 0.81 +/- 0.04 in group 4. The difference among all groups was not statistically significant. Histologic examination was performed on all rats in each group and demonstrated that the bony component was viable, showing a cellular bone marrow, osteoblasts along bony trabeculae, and vascular channels in bone-containing groups. There were no significant microangiographic, histologic, or scintigraphic differences between the two experimental methods.