Journal of Rehabilitation Research & Development (JRRD)

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Volume 47 Number 1, 2010
   Pages 61 — 66

Abstract — Iontophoretic delivery of nitric oxide donor improves local skin flap viability

John A. Russell, MS;1 Nadine P. Connor, PhD;1-2* Gregory K. Hartig, MD1,3

1Department of Surgery, Division of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery, University of Wisconsin, Madison, WI; 2Department of Communicative Disorders, University of Wisconsin, Madison, WI; 3William S. Middleton Memorial Veterans Hospital, Madison, WI

Abstract — The dimensions of local flaps are often limited by the vascular supply to the distal aspect of the flap. Distal flap necrosis occurs if the vascular supply is inadequate. The purpose of this study was to investigate the use of iontophoretic delivery of nitric oxide (NO) donors to a local skin flap model to improve the survival area of the flap. Thirty-two male Sprague-Dawley rats (300 g) were divided into seven experimental groups to determine the effect of iontophoretic delivery of NO on surface perfusion and flap survival area. A caudally based 3 × 11 cm dorsal skin flap was used to measure the effect of iontophoretic delivery of NO donors to a local skin flap to improve survival area of the flap. Iontophoretic delivery of the NO donors sodium nitroprusside (SNP) and diethylenetriamine NONOate (DETA-NO) resulted in a significant increase in survival area and surface perfusion when compared with sham controls. Iontophoretic delivery of saline was associated with a 13% improvement in flap survival when compared with nontreated controls. Iontophoretic delivery and subcutaneous injection of NO donors (SNP and DETA-NO) increased skin flap viability by demonstrating improved flap survival areas. The results of this study suggest that NO may serve as a postoperative treatment of skin flaps to encourage skin flap survival and prevent distal necrosis.

Key words: iontophoretic, necrosis, nitric oxide, NO, NO donor, rehabilitation, skin flaps, tissue, vascular supply, wound healing.

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