Comparative analysis of fluorescent angiography, computed tomographic angiography and magnetic resonance angiography for planning autologous breast reconstruction

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The high incidence of breast cancer and growing number of breast cancer patients undergoing mastectomy has led to breast reconstruction becoming an important part of holistic treatment for these patients. In planning autologous reconstructions, preoperative assessment of donor site microvascular anatomy with advanced imaging modalities has assisted in the appropriate selection of flap donor site, individual perforators, and lead to an overall improvement in flap outcomes. In this review, we compare the accuracy of fluorescent angiography, computed tomographic angiography (CTA), and magnetic resonance angiography (MRA) and their impact on clinical outcomes. METHODS: A review of the published English literature dating from 1950 to 2015 using databases, such as PubMed, Medline, Web of Science, and EMBASE was undertaken. RESULTS: Fluorescent angiography is technically limited by its inability to evaluate deep-lying perforators and hence, it has a minimal role in the preoperative setting. However, it may be useful intraoperatively in evaluating microvascular anastomotic patency and the mastectomy skin perfusion. CTA is currently widely considered the standard, due to its high accuracy and reliability. Multiple studies have demonstrated its ability to improve clinical outcomes, such as operative length and flap complications. However, concerns surrounding exposure to radiation and nephrotoxic contrast agents exist. MRA has been explored, however despite recent advances, the image quality of MRA is considered inferior to CTA. CONCLUSIONS: Preoperative imaging is an essential component in planning autologous breast reconstruction. Fluorescent angiography presents minimal role as a preoperative imaging modality, but may be a useful intraoperative adjunct to assess the anastomosis and the mastectomy skin perfusion. Currently, CTA is the gold standard preoperatively. MRA has a role, particularly for women of younger age, iodine allergy, and renal impairment.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)164 - 178
Number of pages15
JournalGland Surgery
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2015

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