In vivo monitoring of microvessels in skin flaps: Introduction of a novel technique

Authors

  • Stefan Langer M.D.,

    Corresponding author
    1. Institute for Surgical Research, Ludwig-Maximilians-University Munich, University Hospital Grosshadern, Munich, Germany
    2. Clinic for Plastic and Hand Surgery/Burn Center, Ruhr University Bochum, Bergmannsheil Trauma Center, Bochum, Germany
    • Clinic for Plastic and Hand Surgery/Burn Center, Ruhr University Bochum, Bergmannsheil Trauma Center, 44789 Bochum, Germany
    Search for more papers by this author
  • Peter Biberthaler M.D.,

    1. Institute for Surgical Research, Ludwig-Maximilians-University Munich, University Hospital Grosshadern, Munich, Germany
    Search for more papers by this author
  • Anthony Gustave Harris Ph.D.,

    1. Institute for Surgical Research, Ludwig-Maximilians-University Munich, University Hospital Grosshadern, Munich, Germany
    Search for more papers by this author
  • Hans-Ulrich Steinau Ph.D.,

    1. Clinic for Plastic and Hand Surgery/Burn Center, Ruhr University Bochum, Bergmannsheil Trauma Center, Bochum, Germany
    Search for more papers by this author
  • Konrad Messmer Ph.D.

    1. Institute for Surgical Research, Ludwig-Maximilians-University Munich, University Hospital Grosshadern, Munich, Germany
    Search for more papers by this author

Abstract

Orthogonal polarization spectral (OPS) imaging was validated against intravital fluorescence microscopy (IFM) for microvascular measurements in skin flaps of hairless mice. Examinations were performed 1, 6, and 24 hours after elevation (n = 8) with both OPS imaging and IFM. A fluorescent dye was a prerequisite for IFM measurements but not for OPS imaging. Our findings show that OPS imaging can visualize the skin flap microcirculation independent from the application of fluorescent tracers. From these images, quantitative analysis of functional capillary density (FCD) was feasible. As expected, FCD was significantly lower in the distal part of the flap compared with its base (171.8 ± 34.7 versus 62.0 ± 25.6, mean ± SD; 1 hour data). Comparison of OPS imaging and IFM revealed a significant correlation of FCD values (P < 0.001) at all time points. Given the success of this validation study on mouse skin flaps, clinical investigations will have to prove that OPS imaging can also successfully be used to monitor flaps in humans. © 2001 Wiley-Liss, Inc. MICROSURGERY 21:317–324 2001

Ancillary