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Data from: Development of an extracorporeal perfusion device for small animal free flaps

Cite this dataset

Fichter, Andreas M. et al. (2017). Data from: Development of an extracorporeal perfusion device for small animal free flaps [Dataset]. Dryad.


Background: Extracorporeal perfusion (ECP) might prolong the vital storage capabilities of composite free flaps, potentially opening a wide range of clinical applications. Aim of the study was the development a validated low-cost extracorporeal perfusion model for further research in small animal free flaps. Methods: After establishing optimal perfusion settings, a specially designed extracorporeal perfusion system was evaluated during 8-hour perfusion of rat epigastric flaps followed by microvascular free flap transfer. Controls comprised sham-operation, ischemia and in vivo perfusion. Flaps and perfusate (diluted blood) were closely monitored by blood gas analysis, combined laser Doppler flowmetry and remission spectroscopy and Indocyanine-Green angiography. Evaluations were complemented by assessment of necrotic area and light microscopy at day 7. Results: ECP was established and maintained for 8 hours with constant potassium and pH levels. Subsequent flap transfer was successful. Notably, the rate of necrosis of extracorporeally perfused flaps (27%) was even lower than after in vivo perfusion (49%), although not statistically significant (P = 0,083). After sham-operation, only 6% of the total flap area became necrotic, while 8-hour ischemia led to total flap loss (98%). Angiographic and histological findings confirmed these observations. Conclusions: Vital storage capabilities of microvascular flaps can be prolonged by temporary ECP. Our study provides important insights on the pathophysiological processes during extracorporeal tissue perfusion and provides a validated small animal perfusion model for further studies.

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