May 1978

Prevention of Dermal Ischemia After Thermal Injury

Author Affiliations

From the Section of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery and the Burn Center, University of Chicago, Chicago.

Arch Surg. 1978;113(5):621-625. doi:10.1001/archsurg.1978.01370170083017

• One percent methylprednisolone acetate was evaluated as a pharmacologic agent in the prevention of dermal ischemia following burning. Standardized partial thickness burns were inflicted on guinea pigs. Burned guinea pigs were separated into five groups; one was treated with topical steroid, one with systemic steroid, one with both, one with emollient base without steroid, and one served as an untreated control. Histology and depth of dermal ischemia were evaluated by india ink perfusion technique. Untreated controls showed progressive dermal ischemia with complete absence of india ink-filled vessels in the dermis by 24 hours. Topical steroid alone improved dermal perfusion as suggested by relative levels of india ink filling. Topical steroid in the dosage used does not potentiate infection in standard burn wound sepsis models. Preservation of dermal appendages was seen secondary to improved dermal microcirculation with a ninefold increase in hair follicles in treated guinea pigs compared with controls.

(Arch Surg 113:621-625, 1978)