Effect of Hyperbaric Oxygen on Lipid Peroxidation in Free Skin Grafts in Rats

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Biological Sciences


Objective - To document that free skin grafts treated with hyperbaric oxygen (HBO) are at greater risk for reperfusion injury, resulting in lipid peroxidation, than are free skin grafts without HBO treatment. Animals - 40 Sprague-Dawley rats. Procedure - Free skin grafting was performed bilaterally on each rat. The HBO-treated rats received HBO twice dally for 90 minutes at 2 ATA. Biopsy specimens were taken from each rat at the time of grafting and on days 2, 4, 7, 10, 14, 21, and 28, then were processed for tissue concentration of total glutathione (GSHt), glutathione peroxidase activity (GPx), and presence of thiobarbituric acid-reactive substances (TBARS). Results - Both groups had a similar pattern of change in TBARS and GPx values - initial increase, returning to preoperative values at days 21 (control) and 28 (HBO). The GPx activity peaked later than did TBARS concentration (day 7 vs day 4). The pattern was significantly more pronounced in HBO-treated than in control rats. Both groups had a similar pattern of change in GSHt values - significant decrease from preoperative concentration at day 2, return to preoperative concentration by days 4 (HBO) and 7 (control), increase above preoperative concentration by day 21, and return to preoperative concentration by day 28. Obvious visual or histologic differences in the grafts were not detected between groups. Conclusions - Cellular effects of oxidative stress were apparent in both groups of rats; however, the degree of these effects was exacerbated by HBO. In the face of enhanced cellular lipid peroxidation, use of HBO for the treatment of free skin grafts must be questioned.

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American Journal of Veterinary Research


At the time of publication, Bruce L. Tedford was affiliated with Louisiana State University, School of Veterinary Medicine.

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