Research Article| Volume 65, ISSUE 5, P616-619, May 2012

Blood glucose measurement for flap monitoring to salvage flaps from venous thrombosis

Published:December 09, 2011DOI:


      Early detection and rapid re-exploration are important for flap salvage, and for this, a reliable monitoring method is required. The purpose of the current study was to evaluate blood glucose measurement (BGM) for flap monitoring and to establish a simple method that can be used widely to decrease the flap loss rate after tissue transplantation.
      We noted the BGM in 33 free or pedicled tissue transfers (57 BGM points) over time postoperatively. Skin punctures and blood glucose measurements were made using a Medisafe-finetouch needle and Medisafe-Mini (Terumo, Japan), which are commonly used by diabetic patients.
      Partial necrosis of the vascular territory was found at 5 points (9%), and blood flow disorder due to a venous thrombus was found at 5 points (9%). The mean blood glucose level in the congestive flaps was significantly lower than that in healthy flaps. ROC curve analysis was used to determine a cutoff value for BGM of 62 mg/dL, at which the sensitivity and specificity were 88% and 82%, respectively (p < 0.0001). In conclusion, BGM is an easy and accessible adjunct to flap monitoring, and the combination of BGM and previously established methods is likely to reduce postoperative complications caused by the development of a venous thrombus after free tissue transplantation.


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