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Arch Hand Microsurg > Volume 22(1); 2013 > Article
Journal of the Korean Society for Surgery of the Hand 2013;22(1):13-17.
Published online May 31, 2013.
DOI: https://doi.org/10.12790/jkssh.2013.22.1.13   
Vascular Variations in the Anterolateral Thigh Flap
So Min Hwang, Min Wook Kim, Kwang Ryeol Lim, Yong Hui Jung, Hyung Do Kim, Hong Il Kim
Hand and Microsurgery Center, Good Moonhwa Hospital, Busan, Korea. sominhwang@hanmail.net
전외측 대퇴부 피판의 혈관 변이
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Received: 5 March 2013   • Revised: 30 April 2013   • Accepted: 1 May 2013
Purpose: Although a fasciocutaneous perforator artery as a vascular pedicle has previously been shown to be predominant in the anterolateral thigh (ALT) flap, recent studies have shown that a myocutaneous perforator artery is predominant. We have attempted to attain a clinical understanding of the vascular variations in the ALT flap.
Materials and Methods: We confirmed the origin of a perforator artery in 11 cases of ALT flap. We then reviewed the variations of the descending branch of the lateral femoral circumflex artery, known as the major origin of the flap, and the overall variations associated with an ALT flap.
Results: In a total of 11 cases, there were 18 perforator arteries of the ALT flaps. In addition, there were 9 fasciocutaneous perforator arteries and another 9 myocutaneous ones. However, depending on the origin, there was great variability in the perforator artery. That is, there were unique variants in the descending branches of the lateral femoral circumflex artery, the major origin of the perforator artery, in 3 of the total 11 cases.
Conclusion: Our results showed that (1) a perforator artery accounts for the high proportion of fasciocutaneous ones, (2) a perforator artery might not originate from the descending branch of the lateral femoral circumflex artery and (3) there might be unique variants in the descending branch. If considering this, surgeons would successfully elevate an ALT flap.
Key Words: Thigh, Perforator flap, Variation

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