The cutaneous perforators of the radial artery adjacent to the superficial branch of the radial nerve and the lateral antebrachial cutaneous nerve were investigated, and the vascular anatomical features of the reversed forearm island flap supplied by those accompanying perforators were documented. Ten fresh cadavers were systemically injected with lead oxide, gelatin, and water. Twenty forearms were then dissected, and an overall map of the cutaneous vasculature and source vessels was constructed. The accompanying arteries were observed to lie along the lateral antebrachial cutaneous nerve and the superficial branch of the radial nerve and to nourish the skin through cutaneous branches. Vascular communication among these cutaneous vessels was evaluated, to determine the cutaneous vascular territory of the radial forearm flap. This anatomical information facilitates flap design in the forearm region. Clinical experience regarding the usefulness of the reversed forearm island flap for hand reconstruction for a series of five patients is presented.
Harbin, China; and Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada
From the Department of Surgery, Second Hospital of Harbin Medical University, and the Departments of Anatomy and Neurobiology and Surgery, Dalhousie University.
Received for publication July 10, 2002;
revised October 24, 2002.
Daping Yang, M.D.
Division of Plastic Surgery
Second Hospital of Harbin Medical University
Harbin, HLJ, China, 150086