Random Flap Survival with Hyperbaric Oxygen: Daily Versus Twice-daily Treatments

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PURPOSE: Hyperbaric oxygen (HBO₂) therapy is used to improve the survival of compromised flaps. Compromised flaps are complications encountered postsurgically, or in traumatic degloving or avulsion injuries. Failed flaps lead to persistence of the defect, requirement of another donor site, and psychosocial sequelae. Although evidence of the benefit of HBO₂ therapy is significant, there is no consensus on the optimal treatment regimen. The purpose of this study is to examine whether twice-daily treatments (BID HBO₂) provide additional benefit compared to daily treatments (QD HBO₂) in a rat compromised random flap model. METHODS: A rat random flap model was used with subjects divided into three groups: 1) control group; 2) QD HBO₂; and 3) BID HBO₂, where HBO₂ was performed with 100% oxygen at 2.5 atmospheres absolute/ATA (253 kPa) for 90 minutes. After 10 days, areas of flap necrosis were measured and biopsies were taken for histologic analysis. Statistical analysis was performed using ANOVA and paired t-tests. A P-value ⟨0.05 was considered significant. RESULT: Both treatment groups had significantly increased mean flap survival compared to controls (P⟨0.05). There was no significant difference in flap survival between the QD and BID groups. Capillary proliferation in the QD group was increased compared with controls. CONCLUSION: Both QD and BID HBO₂ protocols can significantly decrease random flap necrosis. However, the results of this study suggest there is no additional benefit gained with BID treatments. Clinical studies are warranted to confirm these findings and assist in formalization of protocols for the use of HBO₂in treating compromised random flaps.


HBO2 therapy; Compromised flap; Neovascularization; Random flap necrosis; Random flap survival


Marine Biology | Medicine and Health Sciences

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