The role of oxygen-free radicals in ischemic tissue injury in island skin flaps

P. N. Manson, R. M. Anthenelli, M. J. Im, G. B. Bulkley, J. E. Hoopes

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

227 Scopus citations


The contribution of free radical-mediated reperfusion injury to the ischemic damage caused by total venous occlusion of island skin flaps was investigated in a standardized rat model. Control flaps subjected to 8 hours of total venous occlusion showed complete, full thickness necrosis when followed for 7 days following release of the vascular occlusion. Treatment with superoxide dismutase, a scavenger of superoxide radicals, prior to and immediately following the onset of reperfusion, significantly enhanced island flap survival from 0/11 (0%) to 8/15 (53%), p < 0.005, and from 0/9 (0%) to 6/12 (50%), p < 0.02, respectively. These findings are consistent with the hypothesis that oxygen free radicals generated at the time of reperfusion following a period of ischemia contribute significantly to the ultimate damage caused by ischemic injury. Such findings are consistent with similar reported observations on other tissues and suggest a means by which ischemic tissue injury might be therapeutically modified, even after the period of ischemia.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)87-90
Number of pages4
JournalUnknown Journal
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1983
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery


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