CC BY-NC-ND 4.0 · Indian J Plast Surg 2012; 45(03): 453-458
DOI: 10.4103/0970-0358.105941
Original Article
Association of Plastic Surgeons of India

Effects of hyperbaric oxygen and N-acetylcysteine in survival of random pattern skin flaps in rats

Fernando da Rocha
Department of Surgery, Catholic University of Pelotas, Pelotas - RS
Djalma Fagundes
Division of Operative Technique and Experimental Surgery, Department of Surgery, UNIFESP
Jefferson Pires
President of Academy League of Plastic Surgery, Federal University of Pelotas, Pelotas - RS
Fernanda Salim da Rocha
President of Academy League of Plastic Surgery, Federal University of Pelotas, Pelotas - RS, Brazil
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21. November 2019 (online)


Objective: Our aim is to investigate the role of HBO (hyperbaric oxygen), NAC (N-acetylcysteine), and HBO plus NAC on the necrosis area of random rat′s skin flaps of a modified McFarlane flap design. Materials and Methods: Thirty-two male Wistar rats were randomly divided into four groups: G-S (sham: n = 8), G-NAC (NAC: n = 8), G-HBO (HBO: n = 8), and G-HN (HBO plus NAC: n = 8). A rectangular skin flap (2 × 8 cm 2 ) was dissected from the muscular dorsal layer, preserving the cranial pedicle. Polyethylene film was placed over the muscular layer and an interrupted 3.0 nylon suture was employed to fix the flap into the original place. On the eighth day, full-thickness biopsy samples (2 × 1 cm 2 ) were collected from the proximal, middle, and cranial areas of the skin flap, and in a site away from the flap labelled as the control area. Results: The measurements of necrotic areas in the groups were 18.3% in G-S, 24.3% in G-NAC, 12.6% in G-HBO, and 14.9% in G-HN. Significant difference was observed between the groups G-HBO and G-HN as well as G-NAC. Conclusion: HBO is associated with reduced area of necrosis of skin flap. The G-NAC group was associated with poor results when examined in isolation. The association between HBO and NAC did not produce favourable results with respect to the use of HBO alone. These findings suggest that the diffusion of oxygen through the interstitial space was the determining factor of more favourable results of HBO.

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