Computer graphics using a personal computer were introduced to demonstrate the three-dimensional architecture of cutaneous arteries of the back in humans: the direct cutaneous artery of the circumflex scapular artery and the perforating cutaneous branches and musculocutaneous perforators of the superficial cervical, posterior intercostal, and thoracodorsal arteries. The entire thickness of the skin and underlying subcutaneous tissue over the deep fascia was obtained from five fresh cadavers injected systemically with lead oxide-gelatin mixture, and the integument was divided into the three layers: the skin, superficial adipofascial layer with the superficial fascia, and the deep adipofascial layer. Computer graphic reconstruction of the cutaneous arteries was performed using data based on angiograms of the three layers. The computer graphic depictions demonstrated in which layer cutaneous arteries branched and how the vessels were running in each layer by displaying each layer in different colors: red, yellow, and blue. Knowledge of the three-dimensional structure and architecture of the cutaneous arteries will aid in the development of flaps that use a portion of the skin and subcutaneous adipofascial tissue.
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