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April 1988

Effects of Sodium Hypochlorite (Dakin's Solution) on Cells of the Wound Module

Author Affiliations

From the Departments of Surgery (Drs Kozol and Elgebaly) and Pathology (Ms Gillies), University of Connecticut School of Medicine, Farmington.

Arch Surg. 1988;123(4):420-423. doi:10.1001/archsurg.1988.01400280026004

• This study investigates the effects of sodium hypochlorite, or Dakin's solution (DS), on the function and viability of cells of the wound module (neutrophils, fibroblasts, and endothelial cells). For functional studies, the influence of DS on the in vitro migration of neutrophils was evaluated. Our data indicate that DS (2.5×102% to 2.5×104%) results in greater than 90% inhibition of the migration of both stimulated and nonstimulated neutrophils. Electron microscopy and trypan blue evaluation of neutrophils exposed to DS at these concentrations revealed normal structural features, which indicates that the observed reduction in neutrophil migration is not a result of cell death. In contrast to neutrophils, cultured fibroblasts and endothelial cells exposed to DS (2.5×102% or 2.5×103%) for 30 minutes show marked cell injury characterized by convoluted nuclei, cytoplasmic vacuolization, dilated endoplasmic reticulum, and swollen mitochondria on electron microscopy. These data suggest that DS, even at very dilute concentrations, is toxic to cells of the wound module. We therefore recommend abandonment of the use of DS in open wounds.

(Arch Surg 1988;123:420-423)

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