Modified heterotopic hindlimb osteomyocutaneous flap model in the rat for translational vascularized composite allotransplantation research
Fleissig, Yoram | Reed, Robert M. | Beare, Jason E. | LeBlanc, Amanda J. | Williams, Stuart K. | Kaufman, Christina L. | Hoying, James B.
Vascularized composite allotransplantation (VCA) is a relatively new field in the reconstructive surgery. Clinical achievements in human VCA include hand and face transplants and, more recently, abdominal wall, uterus, and urogenital transplants. Functional outcomes have exceeded initial expectations, and most recipients enjoy an improved quality of life. However, as clinical experience accumulates, chronic rejection and complications from the immunosuppression must be addressed. In many cases where grafts have failed, the causative pathology has been ischemic vasculopathy. The biological mechanisms of the acute and chronic rejection associated with VCA, especially ischemic vasculopathy, are important areas of research. However, due to the very small number of VCA patients, the evaluation of proposed mechanisms is better addressed in an experimental model. Multiple groups have used animal models to address some of the relevant unsolved questions in VCA rejection and vasculopathy. Several model designs involving a variety of species are described in the literature. Here we present a reproducible model of VCA heterotopic hindlimb osteomyocutaneous flap in the rat that can be utilized for translational VCA research. This model allows for the serial evaluation of the graft, including biopsies and different imaging modalities, while maintaining a low level of morbidity.Show more [+] Less [-]