May 1958

Effect of Mechlorethamine Hydrochloride (Nitrogen Mustard) on Healing of Abdominal Wounds

Author Affiliations

From the Department of Surgery, University of Nebraska College of Medicine.; Dr. Amer is now a resident in surgery, State University College of Medicine, Downstate Medical Center, 450 Clarkson Ave., Brooklyn 3.

AMA Arch Surg. 1958;76(5):749-753. doi:10.1001/archsurg.1958.01280230089013

Cole and others1,2 have used sterile mechlorethamine hydrochloride N. F. (nitrogen mustard) and drugs of similar action at the time of operation for cancer to discourage the local or distant implantation of malignant cells. These cytotoxic drugs may have an inhibitory effect on all young and proliferating cells. Therefore, it is logical to assume that these drugs might interfere with wound healing by inhibiting fibroblastic proliferation.

We have studied the effect of mechlorethamine hydrochloride on the healing of abdominal wounds in rats. The results suggested that this drug reduced the tensile strength of the wounds.

Material and Method  Preliminary studies in 18 rats suggested that mechlorethamine HCI interfered with wound healing. The following experiment was then designed.Rats of mixed sexes, weighing from 132 to 215 gm., were selected. Under ether anesthesia, the abdomen was shaved, and with aseptic technique an incision was made in the midline through all

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