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August 1997

Terazosin Blockade of Nicotine-Induced Skin Flap Necrosis in the Rat

Author Affiliations

From the Department of Otolaryngology, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis.

Arch Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg. 1997;123(8):837-840. doi:10.1001/archotol.1997.01900080069008

Objective:  To examine the ability of terazosin hydrochloride to block the decrease in skin flap survival induced by nicotine.

Design:  A randomized controlled animal trial.

Subjects:  Ninety-two male Sprague-Dawley rats were randomized to 1 of 5 groups: double-placebo control (n=15), nicotine opposed by oral placebo (n=26), nicotine opposed by subcutaneous placebo (n= 16), nicotine opposed by oral terazosin (n=21), and nicotine opposed by subcutaneous terazosin (n=14).

Intervention:  All rats received 1 mg of nicotine twice daily via subcutaneous injection except for those in the double-placebo control group, which received saline injections twice daily, for the 6-week study. The terazosin treatment groups received 1.5 mg of terazosin hydrochloride twice daily either orally or subcutaneously while the rest received a saline solution placebo either orally or subcutaneously for the last 4 weeks of the study. At the end of the fifth week, a 4×10-cm, caudally based, dorsal random-pattern flap was elevated and repositioned. The outcome was measured in percentage area of flap survival.

Results:  The mean (±SEM) area of flap survival for the double-placebo control group was 79%±2%. Nicotine opposed by oral placebo or subcutaneous placebo produced a significant decrease in survival areas (mean [±SEM] area, 73%±2% and 74%±2%, respectively). Nicotine opposed by oral terazosin produced a mean (±SEM) survival area of 81%±2%, which was significantly better than the nicotine opposed by placebo group and similar to the control group (p=.02).

Conclusion:  Use of oral terazosin elevated flap survival rates to control levels in nicotine-treated rats.Arch Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg. 1997;123:837-840