A porcine myocutaneous flap model was utilized to assess the development of denervation adrenergic hypersensitivity and to determine the effects of the alpha-adrenergic blocking agent—phenoxybenzamine—on flap blood perfusion. During intravenous administration of norepinephrine, blood flow to the flaps and control skin was monitored simultaneously, using laser Doppler velocimetry and dermofluorometry. A relative decrease in myocufaneous flap blood flow, as compared to control skin in response to norepinephrine infusion, was observed at between 2 and 7 days following flap elevation. This is the same time period during which norepinephrine content of skin flaps is diminished, and suggests development of an increased sensitivity to adrenergic stimulation. Administration of phenoxybenzamine blunted norepinephrine-induced pressor responses and blocked development of adrenergic hypersensitivity in the porcine myocufaneous flap model. Phenoxybenzamine significantly increased flap blood perfusion (as measured by dermofluorometry).
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