Author(s): Mowlavi A, Neumeister MW, Wilhelmi BJ, Song YH, Suchy H,
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Abstract Amputated tissue maintained in a hypothermic environment can endure prolonged ischemia and improve replantation success. The authors hypothesized that local tissue hypothermia during the early reperfusion period may provide a protective effect against ischemia-reperfusion injury similar to that seen when hypothermia is provided during the ischemic period. A rat gracilis muscle flap model was used to assess the protective effects of exposing skeletal muscle to local hypothermia during ischemia only (p = 18), reperfusion only (p = 18), and both ischemia and reperfusion (p = 18). Gracilis muscles were isolated and exposed to hypothermia of 10 degrees C during 4 hours of ischemia, the initial 3 hours of reperfusion, or both periods. Ischemia-reperfusion outcome measures used to evaluate muscle flap injury included muscle viability (percent nitroblue tetrazolium staining), local edema (wet-to-dry weight ratio), neutrophil infiltration (intramuscular neutrophil density per high-power field), neutrophil integrin expression (CD11b mean fluorescence intensity), and neutrophil oxidative potential (dihydro-rhodamine oxidation mean fluorescence intensity) after 24 hours of reperfusion. Nitroblue tetrazolium staining demonstrated improved muscle viability in the experimental groups (ischemia-only: 78.8 +/- 3.5 percent, p < 0.001; reperfusion-only: 80.2 +/- 5.2 percent, p < 0.001; and ischemia-reperfusion: 79.6 +/- 7.6 percent, p < 0.001) when compared with the nonhypothermic control group (50.7 +/- 9.3 percent). The experimental groups demonstrated decreased local muscle edema (4.09 +/- 0.30, 4.10 +/- 0.19, and 4.04 +/- 0.31 wet-to-dry weight ratios, respectively) when compared with the nonhypothermic control group (5.24 +/- 0.31 wet-to-dry weight ratio; p < 0.001, p < 0.001, and p < 0.001, respectively). CD11b expression was significantly decreased in the reperfusion-only (32.65 +/- 8.75 mean fluorescence intensity, p < 0.001) and ischemia-reperfusion groups (25.26 +/- 5.32, p < 0.001) compared with the nonhypothermic control group (62.69 +/- 16.93). There was not a significant decrease in neutrophil CD11b expression in the ischemia-only group (50.72 +/- 11.7 mean fluorescence intensity, p = 0.281). Neutrophil infiltration was significantly decreased in the reperfusion-only (20 +/- 11 counts per high-power field, p = 0.025) and ischemia-reperfusion groups (23 +/- 3 counts, p = 0.041) compared with the nonhypothermic control group (51 +/- 28 counts). No decrease in neutrophil density was observed in the ischemia-only group (40 +/- 15 counts per high-power field, p = 0.672) when compared with the nonhypothermic control group (51 +/- 28 counts). Finally, dihydrorhodamine oxidation was significantly decreased in the reperfusion-only group (45.83 +/- 11.89 mean fluorescence intensity, p = 0.021) and ischemia-reperfusion group (44.30 +/- 11.80, p = 0.018) when compared with the nonhypothermic control group (71.74 +/- 20.83), whereas no decrease in dihydrorhodamine oxidation was observed in the ischemia-only group (65.93 +/- 10.3, p = 0.982). The findings suggest a protective effect of local hypothermia during early reperfusion to skeletal muscle after an ischemic insult. Inhibition of CD11b expression and subsequent neutrophil infiltration and depression of neutrophil oxidative potential may represent independent protective mechanisms isolated to local tissue hypothermia during the early reperfusion period (reperfusion-only and ischemia-reperfusion groups). This study provides evidence for the potential clinical utility of administering local hypothermia to ischemic muscle tissue during the early reperfusion period.
This article was published in Plast Reconstr Surg
and referenced in Journal of Transplantation Technologies & Research