Preserving osseous viability in osteocutaneous flap prefabrication: Experimental study in rabbits

Akyurek M., Ozkan O., Bozkurt M., Safak T.

JOURNAL OF RECONSTRUCTIVE MICROSURGERY, vol.19, no.8, pp.571-576, 2003 (Peer-Reviewed Journal) identifier identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 19 Issue: 8
  • Publication Date: 2003
  • Doi Number: 10.1055/s-2004-815645
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded, Scopus
  • Page Numbers: pp.571-576


This study presents a technique that preserves osseous Viability in prefabricated osteocutaneous flaps with a soft-tissue vascular carrier, with a pedicled skin flap acting as the vascular carrier to neovascularize a partially devascularized bone segment before its transfer. Using a total of 50 New Zealand White rabbits, two groups were randomized as experimental and control animals. In the experimental group (n = 30), a bipedicled dorsal scapular skin flap was anchored with sutures to the scapular bone, by bringing it into contact with the exposed dorsal surface of the bone after stripping the dorsal muscular attachments. Following 4 weeks of neovascularization, the prefabricated composite flaps were harvested, based on the caudally-based dorsal skin flap, after stripping the ventral muscular attachments of the bone. In the control group (n = 20), non-vascularized scapular bone grafts were implanted under bipedicled dorsal scapular skin flaps with sutures. After 4 weeks, prefabricated composite flaps were harvested, based on the caudally-based dorsal skin flap. In both groups, on day 7 after the second stage, the viability of the bony component of the flaps was evaluated by direct observation, scintigraphy, measurement of bone metabolic activity, microangiography, dye injection study, and histology. Results indicated that the bone segments in the experimental group demonstrated a greater survival than in the control group. The authors conclude that this technique of osteocutaneous flap prefabrication preserves the viability of the bony component with a soft-tissue vascular carrier, in contrast to the conventional method of pre-transfer grafting. The technique may be useful clinically in selected cases.