Effect of pentoxyfylline on myocutaneous flap viability in pigs

M. Armstrong, D. R. Kunar, C. W. Cummings

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


Partial necrosis of a skin flap can complicate reconstructive surgery. We performed a double-blinded crossover study to determine if pentoxifylline improves perfusion and survival of a myocutaneous flap. Ten 20-kg pigs were fed pentoxifylline (400 mg three times a day) or placebo for 1 week before and after raising a 5 x 30 cm panniculus carnosus flap on one flank. After 1 week of washout, each pig began the opposite drug treatment and the surgery was repeated on the opposite flank. Immediately after surgery, perfusion dermofluorometry and laser Doppler velocimetry demonstrated a significant increase in the perfusion of pentoxifylline-treated flaps compared to control flaps. On postoperative day 7, the mean area of clinical necrosis was 39.7 ± 4.7 cm2 on the placebo sides and 30.1 ± 4.6 cm2 on the pentoxifylline sides (t = 2.21, p < 0.05). We conclude that pentoxifylline improves perfusion and survival of myocutaneous flaps in pigs. Clinical trials appear to be indicated on the basis of the findings of this experiment.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)668-675
Number of pages8
JournalOtolaryngology - Head and Neck Surgery
Issue number4
StatePublished - 1993

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Otorhinolaryngology


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