Arch Plast Surg.  2020 Sep;47(5):435-443. 10.5999/aps.2020.00423.

Anatomical variations of the innervated radial artery superficial palmar branch flap: A series of 28 clinical cases

  • 1Gangnam Jaejun Plastic Clinic for Hand & Microsurgery, Pyeongtaek, Korea


The innervated radial artery superficial palmar branch (iRASP) flap was designed to provide consistent innervation by the palmar cutaneous branch of the median nerve (PCMN) to a glabrous skin flap. The iRASP flap is used to achieve coverage of diverse volar defects of digits. However, unexpected anatomical variations can affect flap survival and outcomes.
Cases in which patients received iRASP flaps since April 1, 2014 were retrospectively investigated by reviewing the operation notes and intraoperative photographs. The injury type, flap dimensions, arterial and neural anatomy, secondary procedures, and complications were evaluated.
Twenty-eight cases were reviewed, and no flap failures were observed. The observed anatomical variations were the absence of a direct skin perforator, large-diameter radial artery superficial palmar branch (RASP), and the PCMN not being a single branch. Debulking procedures were performed in 16 cases (57.1%) due to flap bulkiness.
In some cases, an excessively large RASP artery was observed, even when there was no direct skin perforator from the RASP or variation in the PCMN. These findings should facilitate application of the iRASP flap, as well as any surgical procedures that involve potential damage to the PCMN in the inter-thenar crease region. Additional clinical cases will provide further clarification regarding potential anatomical variations.


Radial artery superficial palmar branch; Palmar cutaneous branch; Median Nerve; Finger injury; Perforator flap
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