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February 1989

The Effects of Pentoxifylline on Random Skin Flap Survival

Author Affiliations

From the Department of Otolaryngology–Head and Neck Surgery, University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics, Iowa City.

Arch Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg. 1989;115(2):179-181. doi:10.1001/archotol.1989.01860260053013

• Random skin flaps are an important and frequently used technique in head and neck reconstruction. Pentoxifylline has been shown to improve the deformability of red blood cells by increasing their intracellular adenosine triphosphate content and, therefore, improving their flow properties. This is especially important in ischemia and low blood flow states present in the distal portions of random skin flaps. The rheologic properties of pentoxifylline were studied in the swine model. Swine in group I (eight flaps) served as controls with no pharmacologic manipulations. Swine in group II (16 flaps) received pentoxifylline (20 mg/kg/d) for ten days preoperatively and ten days postoperatively. Necrosis in swine in group I (controls) averaged 32.6%, which substantiated previous reports. Necrosis in swine in group II (pentoxifylline) averaged 2.57%. This study has shown a statistically significant enhancement of random skin flap survival using pentoxifylline in a swine model.

(Arch Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg 1989;115:179-181)

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