Expansion of Surviving Skin Paddle of Neurocutaneous Island Flaps in Rats by VEGF

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The purpose of this study was to investigate whether vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) can enlarge the skin paddles of neurocutaneous flaps in rats. Wistar albino rats were used in four groups: Group 1, (n = 10): neurocutaneous island flap; Group 2, (n = 10): neurocutaneous island flap, surgical delay; Group 3, (n = 10): neurocutaneous island flap, VEGF; Group 4, (n = 10): graft. A 3 × 3-cm, neurocutaneous island flap was elevated on the anterolateral skin of the thigh of the rats. The surviving flap areas were 29.7 ± 1.43 percent in Group 1, 41.3 ± 3.24 percent in Group 2, 94.2 ± 1.46 percent in Group 3. There were no surviving areas in Group 4. The vascular networks of Group 3 animals were more intensive and diffused on microangiography and the histopathologic findings were better in this group. The surviving flap areas in Group 3 animals were enlarged approximately three times over the original size.

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