Knowledge of tissue blood flow (BF) changes after free tissue transfer may enable surgeons to predict the failure of flap thrombosis at an early stage. This study used our recently developed noncontact diffuse correlation spectroscopy to monitor dynamic BF changes in free flaps without getting in contact with the targeted tissue. Eight free flaps were elevated in patients with head and neck cancer; one of the flaps failed. Multiple BF measurements probing the transferred tissue were performed during and post the surgical operation. Postoperative BF values were normalized to the intraoperative baselines (assigning “1”) for the calculation of relative BF change (rBF). The rBF changes over the seven successful flaps were 1.89±0.15, 2.26±0.13, and 2.43±0.13 (mean±standard error), respectively, on postoperative days 2, 4, and 7. These postoperative values were significantly higher than the intraoperative baseline values (p

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Published in Journal of Biomedical Optics, v. 20, no. 7, article 075008, p. 1-7.

Copyright 2015 Society of Photo Optical Instrumentation Engineers. One print or electronic copy may be made for personal use only. Systematic reproduction and distribution, duplication of any material in this paper for a fee or for commercial purposes, or modification of the content of the paper are prohibited.

Chong Huang, Jeffrey P. Radabaugh, Rony K. Aouad, Yu Lin, Thomas J. Gal, et al. "Noncontact diffuse optical assessment of blood flow changes in head and neck free tissue transfer flaps", Journal of Biomedical Optics 20(7), 075008 (2015).


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The authors acknowledge funding support from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) R01-CA149274 (G.Y.), R21- AR062356 (G.Y.), and UL-1RR033173 Pilot Grant (G.Y.)