Delayed toe transplantation: Experimental study and clinical application

Yu Dong Gu, Shaohua Li, Desong Chen, Liying Zhang, Huan Wang, Shaonan Hu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Delay of the operation in toe transplantation was performed with circulatory crisis, and 100 percent survival of the transplants was achieved. In 10 cases of toe transplantation in which circulatory crisis occurred, the operation was delayed. The vascular pedicle was divided, and the toe was transferred 17 to 21 hours after the donor toe was dissected. To investigate the mechanism of delayed toe transplantation, experiments in rabbits were carried out. In 36 rabbits, the hind limbs were severed except for the vascular pedicle. The endothelin content and nitric oxide content of the tissues in the hind limb and the arterial wall were tested in postoperative intervals of 4, 8, 16, 24, and 48 hours, respectively. The results showed that in 10 cases of delayed toe transplantation, all toes survived. As for the results of the experiment, there was significant increase of endothelin content and decrease of nitric oxide content in the local tissues and the arterial wall 4 to 8 hours after the operation. In postoperative 16 to 24 hours, endothelin content returned to normal level, and nitric oxide content increased remarkably. It is concluded that delayed pedicle division and toe transfer is an effective method in toe transplantation with vascular variations and circulatory crisis. The mechanism is related to the endothelin and nitric oxide content in the local tissue and the arterial wall. The indications for delayed toe transfer are also discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1675
Number of pages1
JournalPlastic and reconstructive surgery
Issue number5
StatePublished - Apr 2000

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery


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