Regional nutrient blood flow to musculocutaneous and fasciocutaneous flaps was studied in dogs using 15-μm radiolabeled microspheres, and correlations to bacterial inoculation into closed wound spaces were sought. During the 6-day study period, no differences were found between blood flow to noninoculated versus inoculated flaps. Comparisons of blood flow to the deep surfaces of the flaps showed that blood flow to muscle in musculocutaneous flaps increased rapidly during the first 24 hours and then plateaued, while that to subcutaneous tissue plus fascia in fasciocutaneous flaps demonstrated a gradual and steady increase. The most rapid decline in bacterial counts at the undersurface of both flaps occurred within 24 hours, dropping significantly lower within musculocutaneous flaps. In addition to such surface properties of muscle as tissue ingrowth, rapid early augmentation of muscle blood flow may be largely responsible for superior bacterial suppression observed beneath musculocutaneous flaps.
ASJC Scopus subject areas