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A Detailed Evaluation of the Anatomical Variations of the Profunda Artery Perforator Flap Using Computed Tomographic Angiograms

DeLong, Michael R. B.A.; Hughes, Duncan B. M.D.; Bond, Jennifer E. Ph.D.; Thomas, Steven M. M.S.; Boll, Daniel T. M.D.; Zenn, Michael R. M.D.

Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery: August 2014 - Volume 134 - Issue 2 - p 186e–192e
doi: 10.1097/PRS.0000000000000320
Breast: Original Articles

Background: The profunda artery perforator flap is a new option for breast reconstruction in appropriate patients. While the basic anatomy is known, detailed profunda perforator anatomy has never fully been described and we present new data that will aid dissection.

Methods: Fifty consecutive lower extremity computed tomography angiogram scans (100 legs) were retrospectively analyzed to acquire profunda artery perforator measurements. Patient medical records were then examined to ascertain patient information. Data were then analyzed using simple descriptive statistics and bivariate linear regressions with repeated measures.

Results: Bilateral thighs from 50 consecutive angiograms were included for a total of 100 thighs. Females comprised 30 (60 percent) of the patients and the cohort average age was 59.1 years old. All thighs had at least two perforators, with 85 percent having three or more. On average, perforators were located 6.2 cm below the gluteal crease, and were evenly distributed between the medial and lateral halves of the thigh. The average perforator diameter at origin off profunda was 2.7 mm. There was significantly greater diameter in vessels in the lateral thigh (p < 0.001), in patients with higher Body Mass Index (BMI) (p < 0.05), and in patients with decreased age (p < 0.05). Males were more likely to have perforators that shared a common trunk off the profunda artery (p < 0.05).

Conclusions: At least two profunda perforators exist in each thigh with an average diameter suitable for microvascular transfer, although larger perforators are observed laterally and in younger patients with higher BMI.

Durham, N.C.

From the Division of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, Department of Surgery, and the Departments of Biostatistics and Bioinformatics and Radiology, Duke University Medical Center.

Received for publication November 5, 2013; accepted December 18, 2013.

Presented at the 2014 Annual Meeting of the American Society for Reconstructive Microsurgery, in Kauai, Hawaii, January 11–14, 2014.

The first two authors contributed equally to this article.

Disclosure: None of the authors has a financial interest in any of the products or devices mentioned in this article. This investigation was not funded.

Michael R. Zenn, M.D., Division of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, Department of Surgery, Duke University Medical Center, Trent Drive, DUMC 3383, Durham, N.C. 27710,

©2014American Society of Plastic Surgeons