Perforator flaps are perfused through a log vessel whose calibre decreases from its origin to the skin, because all branches have been sealed, resulting in a conduit with resistances in series, rather than a tree with resistances in parallel, as in the normal systemic circulation. This study was planned to assess whether the differences between perforator flap and normal systemic vasculature have an impact on haemodynamic parameters in perforator flaps and on their clinical significance. The study was performed on 10 patients. Echo-colour-Doppler measurements of diameters, velocity of flow and calculations of flow rate were made at the level of flap pedicle artery and skin perforator artery, pre- and post-operatively in each patient. Statistical analysis used the Wilcoxon matched pairs signed sum rank test. We found an inversion of the gradient of blood velocity between pedicle artery and perforator artery compared to the normal circulation. The velocity of blood and the rate of flow reaching the skin are higher in perforator flaps than in normal circulation.
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