In the literature, few studies based on clinical and histological evaluation analyze skin structural changes after transplantation to the oral cavity. Ten patients affected by squamous cell carcinoma of the oral cavity who were reconstructed with a free forearm flap were included in the current study to analyze skin alterations. The authors performed a histological and ultrastructural evaluation of skin samples from the free forearm flap before transplantation and 18 months after intraoral reconstruction. They analyzed cytokeratin and involucrin distribution, which represent markers of maturation and differentiation of epithelia. The aim of this study was to demonstrate whether skin “mucosalization” occurs. They found that the skin undergoes some morphological changes induced by the intraoral environment. Cytokeratin and involucrin distribution is mostly unchanged. This aspect is in favor of skin structure preservation. Thus, they found that “mucosalization” of the skin is not evident after 18 months.
Microscopic and immunohistochemical analysis of the skin changes of free forearm flaps in intraoral reconstruction / Rubino, C; Dessy, La; Farace, Francesco; Ena, Pasquale; Mazzarello, V.. - In: ANNALS OF PLASTIC SURGERY. - ISSN 0148-7043. - 49:4(2002), pp. 362-368.