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Published Monthly, in English
Founded: 1919
ISSN 0006-9248
(E)ISSN 1336-0345

Impact factor 1.564


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Title: Near infrared spectroscopy in monitoring of head and neck microvascular free flaps
Author: Ladislav CZAKO, Kristian SIMKO, Marek SOVIS, Ivana VIDOVA, Barbora SUFLIARSKY, Peter ODNOGA, Branislav GALIS

Abstract: OBJECTIVES: Microvascular free‑flap monitoring is crucial to the early detection of flap failure and increases the chance of early intervention in case of disruption of perfusion to a flap. Many clinical alternatives to classical clinical flap monitoring have been proposed, such as color duplex ultrasonography, handheld Doppler, flap thermometry, or implantable Doppler flowmetry. Early detection of critical changes in tissue oxygenation can lead to successful surgical intervention when problems with flap nutrition arise.
METHODS: Our clinical study seeks to investigate dynamic monitoring of free flaps with near‑infrared spectroscopy (NIRS). NIRS is a non-invasive instrumental technique used for continuous monitoring of peripheral tissue oxygenation (StO2) and microcirculation. All patients were included prospectively from one clinical center.
RESULTS: During the clinical research period, 18 patients underwent extraoral head and neck reconstruction with one of three types of free flap, namely with radial forearm free flap (RFFF), anterolateral thigh flap (ALT) or fibula free flap (FFF). Measurements of flap perfusion were taken using NIRS during intraoperative and postoperative phases for 71 hours on average. A total of 6 perfusion disorders were recorded, of which three originated from microanastomoses and three from postoperative bleeding and compression of pedicle. NIRS showed characteristic changes in all 6 cases that were returned to the operating theatre owing to pedicle compromise. In these cases, NIRS had detected the pedicle compromise before it was clinically identified. A single StO2 monitoring was able to detect the vascular compromise with 100% sensitivity and 95.65% specificity. None of the cases were falsely positive. In our study, all compromised flaps were accurately identified by means of NIRS. In most cases, the changes in oxygen saturation became evident on NIRS prior to being clinically observed.
CONCLUSION: In our study, the continuous NIRS monitoring securely detected the early stages of arterial and venous thromboses or pedicle compression. The most important aspects of monitoring the flaps´ microvascular perfusion and vitality by means of NIRS lie in its function of recording the dynamics of changes in the values ​​of absolute oxygen saturation (StO2> 50%) alongside with detecting a 30% decrease in tissue saturation over a 60‑minute interval (60 min StO2 >30%) before the clinical changes in the microvascular flap become observable. In cases of pedicle compression, the average time of appearance of signs of StO2 values dropping below the reference interval (as detected by NIRS) was 1:29:02 hour (SD= 0:58:42 h) prior to the occurrence of any clinical signs, while in cases of microvascular anastomosis complications, it was 0:35:23 hour (SD=0:08:30 h)  (SD = 0:08:30 h) (Tab. 3, Fig. 7, Ref. 42).

Published online: 12-May-2023
Year: , Volume: , Issue: Page From: , Page To:

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