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J Korean Assoc Oral Maxillofac Surg. 2003 Dec;29(6):421-429. Korean. Original Article.
Kim UK , Kim YD , Byun JH , Shin SH , Chung IK .
Department of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery, College of Dentistry, Pusan National University.

PURPOSE: Neoadjuvant chemotherapy is commonly used to treat cancer patients as adjunct treatment, but if the microvascular tissue transfer is performed simulataneously with cancer resection surgery, the induction chemotherapy might affect the survival rate of vascularized free flap. Our study will focus on the effect of induction chemotherapy on the free flaps which were made on white rat abdomen after injection of 5-FU. MATERIALS AND METHODS: The experimental rat groups were divided into three groups (total 24 rats) as a normal control group, 24 hrs group after 5-FU injection, 3 days group after 5-FU injection. Inferior abdominal island flaps of 8 Sprague Dawley rats on each group were made and immediately were induced into an ischemic state by clamping the supplying inferior epigastric artery and vein with microvascular clamp for a hour to induce a similiar free flap circumstance, then the inferior abdominal skin flaps were reperfused by releasing the clamps. The flaps on abdomen were repositioned and sutured. The experimental data for flap survival rate was collected by digital photo taking, analysed by computer image program to compare with the flap luminosity. The rats were sacrificed at 3 days, 5 days, 7 days after flap preparation and specimens of the flap were taken and stained with H-E staining. The microscopic finding was made under magnification of 200 and 400. RESULTS: 1. Gross findings on each groups showed the healing condition was good as following sequences; normal, 24 hrs group after chemotherapy, 3 days group after chemotherpy. 2. The values of flap luminosity for evaluation of flap survival rate also showed the same sequences as gross findings of healing state. 3. The microscopic findings of epidermis necrosis, inflammation state, dermis fibrosis, vessel change, fatty tissue layer thinning were compared with each group. The 3 days group after chemotherapy showed remarkably poor healing condition compared to other groups. CONCULSION: Chemotherapy agents affected the healing process of free flap, but healing condition was recovered spontaneously as post-injection periods passed out. In opposite to our expectation, 3 days group showed the bad flap condition in comparing with 24 hours group which was considered as immatured body circulation state of chemotherapy agent. It showed that 3 weeks in human being after chemotherapy was not proper as timing of microvascular tissue transfer if 3 days group in rat was considered as same healing period of 3 weeks in human being. More delayed healing timing than 3 weeks might be required in clinical application of free tissue transfer.

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