Analysis of the distribution of cutaneous perforators in cutaneous flaps

Plast Reconstr Surg. 1998 Jan;101(1):72-84. doi: 10.1097/00006534-199801000-00013.


An anatomic and statistical analysis was performed on the distribution of cutaneous perforators that perfuse the scapular, radial forearm, and lateral arm cutaneous flaps. Perforators were categorized as direct, terminal, and intransitive, depending upon perforator origin and termination site relative to the source artery. Statistical cluster analysis of perforator distributions was performed to determine the regions in which cutaneous perforators are consistently found. The scapular and radial forearm flaps could be divided into up to three well-perfused segments. The analysis predicted the possibility of dividing the lateral arm flap into as many as seven segments while maintaining perfusion. Clinical applications of this method for preoperative flap design and elevation as well as final results are shown.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Arm
  • Facial Injuries / surgery
  • Finger Injuries / surgery
  • Forearm
  • Frostbite / surgery
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Plastic Surgery Procedures
  • Shoulder
  • Skin / blood supply*
  • Surgical Flaps / blood supply*
  • Wounds, Gunshot / surgery