ABSTRACT: Research performed using animal models has assisted in the understanding of flap anatomy and physiology. Pigs' vasculature in the skin is anatomically and physiologically similar to human, making it an ideal model for research. Until now, most vascular imaging studies are of two-dimensions. The aim of this study is to provide a three-dimensional (3D) model that reveals detailed architecture of the vascular network of the porcine, for accurate quantitative assessment.
Five Guangxi Bama minipigs were anaesthetized intramuscularly and underwent whole body lead oxide-gelatin injection. Spiral computed tomography scanning was performed on the subjects and three-dimensional reconstructions were made. Another minipig was used, and underwent Cardiografin injection. 3D-reconstruction was executed in vivo. All subjects were then dissected by layers to document the individual perforators.
Angiography using perfusion with lead oxide-gelatine mixture has the advantage of illustrating distinctively the vessels and their perforating branches. However, it is incapable of displaying other tissues structures. Angiography through perfusion with Cardiografin in vivo has the advantage of demonstrating the relationship between arteries and bones. Yet it could only display coarsely the vascular trunk, and is incapable of displaying the vascular network. By combining these two methods, the 3D structure, source, course, and territories of the arteries were presented distinctively.
3D modeling in combination with traditional sectional imaging of the pig model enables blood vessels to be displayed more dynamically with greater realism. The procedure described could be useful for future flap research, by offering a better visualization of the vascular structure of the skin flap, allowing for better anatomical understanding.
Anatomia Clinica 11/2009; 32(5):477-84. · 0.93 Impact Factor