J Reconstr Microsurg 2020; 36(05): 339-345
DOI: 10.1055/s-0040-1701207
Original Article
Thieme Medical Publishers 333 Seventh Avenue, New York, NY 10001, USA.

Alterations in Surgically Created Intimal Lesions: An Observation Study in the Aortic Rat Model

Constantin T. Wolff
1  Department of Oral- and Cranio-Maxillofacial Surgery, Technical University of Munich, School of Medicine, Klinikum rechts der Isar, Munich, Germany
,
Lucas M. Ritschl
1  Department of Oral- and Cranio-Maxillofacial Surgery, Technical University of Munich, School of Medicine, Klinikum rechts der Isar, Munich, Germany
,
Monika von Düring
2  Department of Neuroanatomy, Ruhr University of Bochum, Bochum, Nordrhein-Westfalen, Germany
,
Andreas M. Fichter
1  Department of Oral- and Cranio-Maxillofacial Surgery, Technical University of Munich, School of Medicine, Klinikum rechts der Isar, Munich, Germany
,
Thomas Mücke
1  Department of Oral- and Cranio-Maxillofacial Surgery, Technical University of Munich, School of Medicine, Klinikum rechts der Isar, Munich, Germany
› Author Affiliations
Further Information

Publication History

20 September 2019

02 December 2019

Publication Date:
30 January 2020 (online)

Abstract

Background Intimal injury in microvessels due to common risk factors such as atherosclerosis or inadequate manipulation are known to have a major impact on developing thrombosis and eventually vascular obstruction. Understanding of these injuries is therefore of great significance to prevent far-reaching consequences such as flap loss in free tissue transfer. It was the aim of this study to evaluate artificially induced intimal lesions with focus on alteration in size and configuration.

Methods Intimal defects were created surgically in the abdominal aorta of 30 male Wistar rats. After planimetric measurement of the defect sizes, configuration of defects were classified as round, horizontal, or vertical. Seven days postoperatively, the rats underwent a second-look surgery. Finally, the abdominal aorta was harvested, and the endothelial defects were reevaluated concerning size and configuration using a defined pattern.

Results The mean defect size created intraoperatively was 1.68 ± 0.6 mm2. The classification of the defects configurations resulted in 43.3% round, 20% horizontal, and 36.7% vertical defects. Reevaluation at 7 days after surgery showed defect shrinkage in 96.7% in total and 42.8% averaging due to reendothelialization. A shift in defect configuration was detected in 56.7%, the strongest being in vertical defect configurations (100%). Vascular occlusion did not occur in any of the specimen.

Conclusion Intimal injuries undergo a fast repair process in terms of size reduction and configuration modification due to reendothelialization. Especially vertical defects, representing a great risk for thrombus formation, convert into lower risk horizontal defect configurations. In high-flow vessels such as the rat aortas, small endothelial damage seems to have no significant impact to produce complete vascular occlusion. Still, all efforts should be made to avoid any kind of intimal injury.