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Local Cooling Provides Muscle Flaps Protection from Ischemia-Reperfusion Injury in the Event of Venous Occlusion During the Early Reperfusion Period

By Ryan S. Diederich, Arian Mowlavi, Garth Meldrum, Brad Medling, Reuben A. Bueno and Michael W. Neumeister


Clinicians often place patients in heated rooms following muscle flap transfers. We hypothesize that exposure of flaps to heated room temperatures could result in an unnecessary hyperthermic ischemic insult if the flaps were to be compromised by venous outflow obstruction, while exposure of elective flaps to local cooling during early perfusion may provide protection in the event of venous occlusion. The rat rectus femoris muscle flap was elevated and clamped for 1 h. The muscle was then exposed to various temperatures for 1 h of perfusion followed by complete venous occlusion for 3 h. Occlusion clamps were removed and flaps were allowed to reperfuse for 24 h. Flaps were assessed for muscle necrosis and edema. Venous occluded muscles demonstrated decreased muscle necrosis and edema in the locally cooled group (8.5 ± 6.7%, 3.06 ± 0.14; P < 0.001) compared to the room temperature group (76.2 ± 23.0%, 3.73 ± 0.13), and the local warming group (97.3 ± 1.4%, 3.84 ± 0.29) respectively. No difference was noted in muscle necrosis nor edema amongst non-ischemic muscles irrespective of temperature exposure. These results suggest a beneficial role for exposure of elective flaps to local cooling during the early perfusion period in order to provide protection from ischemia reperfusion injury in the event of a venous occlusion insult. The prophylactic exposure of flaps to local cooling is further supported by the lack of a harmful effect when flaps were not compromised by venous occlusion

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Publisher: Springer-Verlag
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Provided by: PubMed Central
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