New blood vessels after face transplant



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Blood vessels re-network after face transplantation

Physicians were able to observe how blood vessels branched out again after a complete face transplant and how new network structures formed. Using a computer tomography, the scientists were shown the progress of the new branches.

For patients who require tissue transplantation due to burns on the face, for example, the newly gained knowledge represents a ray of hope. Relatively frequently, problems arise with more serious tissue injuries if the body is to accept the new skin tissue from organ donors. One of the most serious complications of a microsurgical transplant is the circulatory disorder. The earlier the disorder is diagnosed and the earlier an intervention can take place, the greater the chance of a favorable prognosis. For severely deformed people, tissue transplantation is often the beginning of a new life, since ugly consequences of accidents can be largely retouched.

Thanks to a special technique, US scientists have succeeded in expanding and lengthening existing blood vessels. This promotes the expansion of new vascular networks with one another. This process is also called “collateralization” in the technical jargon and was observed by the doctors in three patients one year after the transplant.

Experts Frank Rybicki and Kanako Kumamaru from Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston, Massachusetts, USA, presented the recordings at the annual meeting of the Radiological Society of North America (RSNA) in Chicago on Wednesday. Four patients have had a completely new face since 2011. Blood vessels, which are mainly concerned with the supply of the rear head parts, apparently play a more central role in the reorganization of the bloodstream than previously thought. For the future, this means that the function of vessels must be checked more closely before a transplant. Only then can a transplant promise success for those involved. The first large-scale facial transplants were carried out in 2005. At that time it was a French woman who had had a large part of her face transplanted as a result of a dog attack. (fr)

Image: Tim Reckmann / pixelio.de

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