Standardized model for predicting flap failure using indocyanine green dye

Academic Article


  • Techniques that provide a non-invasive method for evaluation of intraoperative skin flap perfusion are currently available but underutilized. We hypothesize that intraoperative vascular imaging can be used to reliably assess skin flap perfusion and elucidate areas of future necrosis by means of a standardized critical perfusion threshold. Five animal groups (negative controls, n=4; positive controls, n=5; chemotherapy group, n=5; radiation group, n=5; chemoradiation group, n=5) underwent pre-flap treatments two weeks prior to undergoing random pattern dorsal fasciocutaneous flaps with a length to width ratio of 2:1 (3 × 1.5 cm). Flap perfusion was assessed via laser-assisted indocyanine green dye angiography and compared to standard clinical assessment for predictive accuracy of flap necrosis. For estimating flap-failure, clinical prediction achieved a sensitivity of 79.3% and a specificity of 90.5%. When average flap perfusion was more than three standard deviations below the average flap perfusion for the negative control group at the time of the flap procedure (144.3±17.05 absolute perfusion units), laser-assisted indocyanine green dye angiography achieved a sensitivity of 81.1% and a specificity of 97.3%. When absolute perfusion units were seven standard deviations below the average flap perfusion for the negative control group, specificity of necrosis prediction was 100%. Quantitative absolute perfusion units can improve specificity for intraoperative prediction of viable tissue. Using this strategy, a positive predictive threshold of flap failure can be standardized for clinical use.
  • Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Author List

  • Zimmermann TM; Moore LS; Warram JM; Greene BJ; Nakhmani A; Korb ML; Rosenthal EL
  • Volume

  • 9696