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November 1973

Determination of Amputation LevelMeasurement of Skin Blood Flow With Xenon Xe 133

Author Affiliations

San Francisco
From the Surgical Service, Veterans Administration Hospital, and the University of California, San Francisco.

Arch Surg. 1973;107(5):798-802. doi:10.1001/archsurg.1973.01350230150027

In 31 patients about to undergo 33 belowknee amputations, skin blood flow adjacent to the anterior line of the incision was measured by xenon Xe 133 clearance in an attempt to correlate success of healing with the quantity of skin blood flow. Three amputations failed to heal because of ischemic necrosis. These three amputations had the three lowest blood flows, indicating that the use of skin blood flow is a promising method for preoperative selection of amputation level. A comparison of skin blood flows with the level of distal palpable pulse and angiographic data of the peripheral circulation showed no correlation, confirming that these measures for estimation of qualitative blood flow should not be used in selection of the amputation level.