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June 1988

Effects of Pentoxifylline on Experimental Skin Flap Survival

Author Affiliations

San Antonio, Tex

Arch Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg. 1988;114(6):681. doi:10.1001/archotol.1988.01860180095045

To the Editor.—We would wish to point out a serious flaw in the experimental design of this project, which may invalidate the conclusion drawn by Hodgson et al1 that pentoxifylline is of no value in the enhancement of skin flap survival. The flaw is the administration of pentoxifylline. As is clearly delineated in the product information provided by the manufacturer, the effect of pentoxifylline when used for intermittent claudication may be seen as early as two to four weeks, but they recommend that treatment be continued for at least eight weeks. The experimental design used by Hodgson et al administered the pentoxifylline postoperatively and the outcome was evaluated at seven days. Therefore, it is highly unlikely that the pentoxifylline would have been able to influence the outcome.

We have performed a comparable experiment, but administered the pentoxifylline for three weeks preoperatively and found that, indeed, flap survival was