Morphomic analysis for preoperative donor site risk assessment in patients undergoing abdominal perforator flap breast reconstruction: a proof of concept study

J Reconstr Microsurg. 2014 Nov;30(9):635-40. doi: 10.1055/s-0034-1376400. Epub 2014 Jun 9.


Background: Morphomics are three-dimensional measurements of aspects of the human anatomy generated by computed tomographic (CT) imaging. The purpose of this study was to generate preliminary data on the efficacy of morphomics, as a potential risk stratification tool, in predicting abdominal donor site wound-healing complications in patients undergoing abdominal perforator flap breast reconstruction. Patients and

Methods: In total, 58 consecutive patients undergoing deep inferior epigastric perforator (DIEP) flap breast reconstruction were evaluated. Using preoperative CT scan data, we quantified patients' body area, visceral and subcutaneous fat, fascia area, and body depth between T12 and L4. Associations between morphomic measures and complication rates were examined using t-tests and logistic regression.

Results: Of the 58 patients, 11 (19%) patients developed a wound dehiscence and 47 (81%) patients healed their abdominal incision without complications. Patients with a dehiscence had a significantly higher body mass index (BMI) (34.32 vs. 29.26 kg/m(2), p = 0.014) than patients without a dehiscence. Multiple morphometric measures including higher visceral fat area (p = 0.003) were significant predictors of abdominal donor site wound dehiscence. BMI (odds ratio [OR], 1.16; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.03-1.32; p = 0.017) and visceral fat area (OR, 1.24; 95% CI, 1.08-1.42; p = 0.002) were independently significant predictors for wound dehiscence in the entire sample. Only visceral fat area retained its predictive ability in patients with a BMI > 30 kg/m(2).

Conclusions: Morphomic measurements correlate with the likelihood of developing postoperative donor site dehiscence after DIEP flap breast reconstruction. As a proof of concept study, this demonstrates that objective data obtained from CT scans may help in preoperatively assessing the risk for donor site wound healing complications in patients undergoing DIEP flap breast reconstruction.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Imaging, Three-Dimensional
  • Mammaplasty / methods
  • Middle Aged
  • Perforator Flap*
  • Preoperative Period
  • ROC Curve
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Risk Assessment
  • Surgical Wound Dehiscence / epidemiology
  • Tomography, X-Ray Computed / methods
  • Transplant Donor Site