The Evaluation of Subatmospheric Pressure and Hyperbaric Oxygen in Ischemic Full-Thickness Wound Healing

Fabian, Thaddeus S.; Kaufman, Henry J.; Lett, E. Dwayne; Thomas, Jeffrey B.; Rawl, D. Kirkland; Lewis R.N., Patricia L.; Summitt, J. Blair; Merryman, Joyce I.; Schaeffer, Dorcas; Sargent, Larry A.; Burns, R. Phillip
December 2000
American Surgeon;Dec2000, Vol. 66 Issue 12, p1136
Academic Journal
We evaluated the efficacy of subatmospheric pressure and hyperbaric oxygen (HBO) as adjuncts in the treatment of hypoxic full-thickness wounds in a rabbit model. We hypothesized that subatmospheric pressure and HBO independently are effective in improving wound healing in the ischemic wound model and that when they are used in combination there is an increased positive effect on wound healing. Using a standard ischemic wound model four full-thickness wounds were created on each ear of 41 male New Zealand white rabbits (N = 82 ears). On each rabbit one ear was dressed with the vacuum-assisted closure (VAC) device and connected to suction; the other was dressed identically without the suction and suction tubing. Twenty rabbits were treated with HBO daily for 10 days at 2.0 atmospheres absolute for 90 minutes plus descent and ascent times. Necropsy on all rabbits was performed on postoperative day 10. Four ischemic wound treatment groups were evaluated: Group 1 (N = 21) VAC dressing alone; Group 2 (N = 20) VAC dressing plus HBO; Group 3 (N = 21) VAC dressing to suction alone; and Group 4 (N = 20) VAC dressing to suction and HBO. Using light microscopy a veterinary pathologist blinded to treatment groups quantified peak granulation tissue, granulation tissue gap, and epithelialization tissue gap. Data were analyzed by analysis of variance with significance indicated by P < 0.05. Statistical significance was found in a comparison of VAC dressing to suction and VAC dressing alone for peak granulation tissue and granulation tissue gap both with and without use of HBO. VAC device use appears to increase the rate of healing in a rabbit ischemic wound model. HBO therapy did not significantly affect the rate of healing in this model.


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