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This article has been peer reviewed. It is the authors' final version prior to publication in Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery

Volume 145, Issue 2, suppl P49, August 2011

The published version is available at DOI: 10.1177/0194599811416318a27. Copyright © Sage



Objectives: To design an easily reproducible rodent rotational skin flap and to evaluate the effects of radiation on flap viability.

Methods: Ten rats received 40 Gy irradiation to the abdominal wall. Following a recovery period of one month, a 3 X 8 cm fasciocutaneous flap based axially on the inferior epigastric vessel, was raised and rotated 60 degrees into a contralateral deficit. Five non-irradiated rats underwent the identical procedure as a control. Animals were sacrificed seven days postoperatively, areas of flap necrosis were documented, and histological specimens were taken to compare flap viability and vessel density.

Results: 60% of the rats in the irradiated group had necrosis of the distal flap ranging from 1 to 6 cm from the distal edge, whereas none of the animals (0%) in the control group exhibited necrosis (p<0.001). Histology revealed collagen and vascular changes in the irradiated skin. Vascular density analysis revealed a significant difference between radiated and non-radiated flaps; p = 0.004, 0.029 and 0.014 in the distal, middle and proximal segments of the flap respectively.

Conclusion: This novel rat axial rotational flap model demonstrates increases flap necrosis and a decrease in vascular density due to the effects of radiation. Using a linear electron accelerator a dose of 40 gy can be delivered to the skin without resulting in devastating gastrointestinal side effects.

Figure 1 XRT-Flap.tif (1368 kB)
Figure 1 xrt-flap

Figure 2 XRT-Flap.tif (2196 kB)
Figure 2

Figure 3 XRT-Flap.tif (1097 kB)
Figure 3

Figure 4 XRT-Flap.tif (4270 kB)
Figure 4

Figure 5 XRT-Flap.tif (99 kB)
Figure 5



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