Combination therapy for salvaging a failing, experimental skin flap

Darsit K. Shah, Wen X. Zhang, Douglas L. Forman, Arvind Prabhat, Mark L. Urken, Hubert Weinberg

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


The failing free flap remains a major problem for the reconstructive surgeon Many and varied pharmacologic agents have been utilized to reverse the effects of ischemia in these flaps Treatments have been aimed at inhibiting presumed causative factors in the no-reflow phenomenon Therapy has generally been single in nature and designed to affect only one of these presumed factors In this study, several pharmacologic agents were utilized individually or in combination therapy as postischemic washouts, in an effort to attack the multiple causative factors in the no-reflow phenomenon and to improve flap survival in a rat abdominal skin flap model The treatment agents included lactated Ringer's, superoxide dismutase, and urokinase, with each used independently as a postischemic perfusion washout Combination therapy utilized an initial postischemic perfusion with urokinase, followed by a second perfusion washout with superoxide dismutase. After 18 hr of primary ischemia, there was increased flap survival in the animals undergoing perfusion washout with either superoxide dismutase alone or with combined urokinase and superoxide dismutase washouts, compared to all other treatments (p < 0 001) It was found that flaps undergoing combined urokinase and superoxide dismutase postischemic perfusion washouts demonstrated significantly improved survival after 20 hr of primary ischemia, compared to all other therapies (p < 0 05) By demonstrating improved survival when a thrombolytic agent is used in conjunction with an oxygen free radical scavenger, these findings may have implications in the treatment of clinically failing free flaps.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)365-369
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Reconstructive Microsurgery
Issue number6
StatePublished - Aug 1996


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