Histomorphometric analysis of irradiated recipient vessels and transplant vessels of free flaps in patients undergoing reconstruction after ablative surgery.

International journal of oral and maxillofacial surgery

PubMedID: 10833147

Schultze-Mosgau S, Erbe M, Keilholz L, Radespiel-Tröger M, Wiltfang J, Minge N, Neukam FW. Histomorphometric analysis of irradiated recipient vessels and transplant vessels of free flaps in patients undergoing reconstruction after ablative surgery. Int J Oral Maxillofac Surg. 2000;29(2):112-8.
The aim of the study was to investigate, histomorphometrically, quantitative and qualitative changes in irradiated neck recipient vessels and transplant vessels used for microsurgical anastomoses in free flaps in patients undergoing preoperative radiotherapy and chemotherapy. In 55 patients receiving 42 radial forearm flaps, 6 latissimus dorsi flaps, 6 osteomyocutaneous fibula grafts and 1 lateral arm flap, a total of 220 vessels were obtained from neck recipient vessels and transplant vessels during anastomosis. Three groups were formed: Group 1 (16 patients) treated with no radiotherapy or chemotherapy; Group 2 (20 patients) treated with preoperative irradiation (40-50 Gy) and chemotherapy (800 mg/m2 5-FU and 20 mg/m2 cisplatin) 1.5 months prior to surgery; Group 3 (19 patients) treated with radiotherapy (60-70 Gy) (median interval 78.7 months; IQR 31.3 months) prior to surgery. From each of the 220 vessel specimens, 3 sections each were histomorphometrically investigated, both qualitatively and quantitatively. To evaluate these changes as a function of age, radiation dose and chemotherapy, a statistical analysis was performed using analysis of covariance and chi-square tests. In Group 3, qualitative changes (intima dehiscence, hyalinosis) were found in recipient arteries significantly more frequently (25%, P=0.009) than in Groups 1 and 2. For Group 3 recipient arteries, histomorphometry revealed a significant decrease in the ratio of media area/total vessel area (median 0.53, IQR 0.10) in comparison with Group 1 (P= 0.02) (median 0.60, IQR 0.29) and Group 2 (P=0.046) (median 0.59, IQR 0.10). No significant differences were found between the vessels of Groups 1 and 2 (P= 0.48). Age and chemotherapy did not appear to have a significant influence on vessel changes in this study.