During free-tissue transplantation, recipient vessels are often crushed as a result of trauma or radiation therapy, making anastomosis of vessels difficult. In some cases, a second operation is unavoidable because of formation of a postoperative thrombus at sites of the anastomosis. To solve such problems, it should be possible to transplant tissue anywhere in the body without vascular anastomosis by extracorporeal circulation. This study mainly concerned venous flaps that were spindle-shaped and 4 x 3 cm in size.
One hundred and forty-six male Japanese White rabbits, weighing 2.0 to 2.5 kg, were used. Stabilized hemoglobin, lactated Ringer's solution, whole blood, and plasma were used as perfusate. Each of these perfusates was injected at a rate of 5 ml per hour continuously for 3 days in good recipient sites and for 7 days in poor recipient sites. Five rabbits were used in each group. The flaps were examined histologically and electron microscopically. Moreover, in the plasma group, microangiography was performed to observe blood circulation between the flap and the surrounding tissue.
The flaps survived in all cases in which the plasma group had good recipient beds but did not survive in any of the other cases, in which degeneration of the endothelial cells was detected prior to edema.
According to the results of this examination, tissue viability of the venous flap could be maintained for at least 3 days by perfusion of plasma. During this time, in the cases of good recipient sites, blood may begin to recirculate between the flap and the surrounding tissue.