Microvascular reconstruction after intra-arterial chemotherapy with concomitant radiation

Joseph Valentino, W. Brian Helton, Raman Unnikrishnan, Mahesh Kudrimoti, Susanne M. Arnold, T. J. Gal

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


Objective. While the success of microvascular reconstruction is well established, even in the setting of prior radiotherapy, the outcomes in the setting of prior chemoradiation are less well documented. We present our experience with microvascular reconstruction in a unique cohort of patients previously treated with concomitant hyperfractionated radiation and intra-arterial chemotherapy (HYPERRADPLAT). Despite the observation in prior studies of minimal vessel damage in this setting, the hypothesis of this study is that in the late setting of most salvage surgical therapy, either for recurrence or osteoradionecrosis, a different, progressive level of vessel injury may be encountered. Study Design. Case series with chart review. Setting. Tertiary referral academic medical center practice. Subjects and Methods. Eighty-four patients received primary treatment for advanced head and neck squamous cell carcinoma with HYPERRADPLAT. Of these, 8 patients (10%) underwent free tissue transfer reconstruction and a total of 11 free flaps. Results. Wound breakdown, fistula, or both occurred postoperatively in 50% (4/8) of these patients. No complications of the venous anastomoses occurred. Fifty percent (4/8) of patients required return to surgery for arterial failure due to thrombosis of the anastomosis. Two cases of these flaps could not be salvaged. Conclusion. Microvascular reconstruction following HYPERRADPLAT appears to result in a high number of arterial related complications. This experience implies an important delayed treatment effect of HYPERRADPLAT occurs upon recipient arteries. The manner in which this effect may occur in recipient arteries in the setting of more conventional chemoradiation requires further study.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)541-546
Number of pages6
JournalOtolaryngology - Head and Neck Surgery (United States)
Issue number4
StatePublished - Oct 2013


  • chemotherapy
  • complication
  • free tissue transfer
  • head and neck cancer
  • intra-arterial
  • microvascular
  • radiation
  • reconstruction
  • regional chemotherapy
  • squamous cell carcinoma

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Otorhinolaryngology


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