To develop new types of surgical flaps that utilize portions of the skin and subcutaneous tissue (e.g., a thin flap or an adipofascial flap), three- dimensional investigation of the vasculature in the skin and subcutaneous tissue has been anticipated. In the present study, total-body arterial injection and three-dimensional imaging of the arteries by computer graphics were performed. The full-thickness skin and subcutaneous adipofascial tissue samples, which were obtained from fresh human cadavers injected with radioopaque medium, were divided into three distinct layers. Angiograms of each layer were introduced into a personal computer to construct three- dimensional images. On a computer monitor, each artery was shown color-coded according to the three portions: the deep adipofascial layer, superficial adipofascial layer, and dermis. Three-dimensional computerized images of each artery in the skin and subcutaneous tissue revealed the components of each vascular plexus and permitted their classification into six types. The distribution of types in the body correlated with the tissue mobility of each area. Clinically, appreciation of the three-dimensional structure of the arteries allowed the development of several new kinds of flaps.
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