Global Health & Medicine 2020;2(4):263-264.
Nerve vascularity in free vascularized nerve flaps
Miyazaki T, Tsukuura R, Yamamoto T, Daniel BW
The blood supply of peripheral nerves consists of a complex internal vessels' network, feeding external vessels and the interlinking vasa nervorum. Patients with nerve damage may require nerve substitution. While the commonly performed avascular nerve grafts obtain vascularization only from random and slow inosculation into the vasa nervorum, their insufficient revascularization causes loss of the graft's potential due to central necrosis. This gets more relevant with the larger diameter of nerves injured. Examples for neurovascular flaps are the lateral femoral cutaneous nerve vascularized via the superficial circumflex iliac artery perforator (LFCN-SCIP) flap or the iliohypogastric nerve graft vascularized via the superficial inferior epigastric artery (SIEA). LFCN-SCIP shows a well concealed donor scar site with a maintained vascularization and a minor donor site morbidity. Therefore, the guaranteed axial nerve vascularity in LFCN-SCIP makes it a preferred autologous vascularized nerve therapy for peripheral nerve defects. A further option example is the anterior lateral thigh (ALT) flap with the LFCN.