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The effect of dobutamine on blood flow of free tissue transfer flaps during head and neck reconstructive surgery*.

Author(s): Scholz A, Pugh S, Fardy M, Shafik M, Hall JE

Affiliation(s): Department of Anaesthesia and Intensive Care Medicine,University Hospital of Wales, Cardiff, UK.

Publication date & source: 2009-10, Anaesthesia., 64(10):1089-93.

Publication type: Randomized Controlled Trial

SUMMARY: In view of the controversy over the use of inotropes in free tissue transfer surgery, we assessed the effect of different intra-operative dobutamine infusion rates on blood flow in the anastomosed recipient artery. Twenty patients undergoing head and neck tumour resection and immediate reconstructive surgery with free tissue transfer were recruited. After completion of the microvascular anastomoses, patients received dobutamine infusions of 2, 4 and 6 microg x kg(-1) x min(-1) in a randomised order. After steady state dobutamine concentration was achieved, mean and maximum blood flow in the arterial anastomosis was measured at each concentration, using the Medi-Stim Butterfly Flowmeter system. Systemic haemodynamic parameters were simultaneously recorded using a pulse contour cardiac output system. Both mean and maximum blood flow increased significantly in the anastomosed artery at dobutamine infusions of 4 and 6 microg x kg(-1) x min(-1) and this was accompanied by increased cardiac output. This may improve free flap perfusion.

Page last updated: 2009-10-20

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