Background: This cross-sectional study aims to compare a new and non-invasive approach using hyperspectral imaging (HSI) with the conventional modified Allen’s test (MAT) for the assessment of collateral perfusion prior to radial forearm free flap harvest in healthy adults.
Schlagwörter: hyperspectral imaging, Allen’s test, radial forearm free flap, microvascular surgery, microsurgery, reconstructive surgery, perfusion monitoring, flap imaging
HSI of the right hand of 114 patients was recorded. Here, three recordings were carried out: (I) basic status (perfusion), (II) after occlusion of ulnar and radial artery (occlusion), and (III) after releasing the ulnar artery (reperfusion). At all recordings, tissue oxygenation/superficial perfusion (StO2 (0–100%); 0–1 mm depth), tissue haemoglobin index (THI (0–100)) and near infrared perfusion index/deep perfusion (NIR (0–100); 0–4 mm depth) were assessed. A modified Allen’s test (control) was conducted and compared with the HSI-results.
Results: Statistically significant differences between perfusion (I) and artery occlusion (II) and between artery occlusion (II) and reperfusion (III) could be observed within the population with a non-pathological MAT (each <0.001). Significant correlations were observed for the difference between perfusion and reperfusion in THI and the height of the MAT (p < 0.05). Within the population with a MAT >8 s, an impairment in reperfusion was shown (each p < 0.05) and the difference between perfusion and reperfusion exhibited a strong correlation to the height of the MAT (each p < 0.01).
Conclusions: The results indicate a reliable differentiation between perfusion and occlusion by HSI. Therefore, HSI could be a useful tool for verification of the correct performance of the MAT as well as to confirm the final diagnosis, as it provides an objective, reproducible method whose results strongly correlate with those obtained by MAT. What is more, it can be easily applied by non-medical personnel.