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Am J Sports Med. 2008 Apr;36(4):753-9. doi: 10.1177/0363546507311597. Epub 2008 Jan 11.

Absorption of dexamethasone sodium phosphate in human connective tissue using iontophoresis.

Author information

1
University of New Mexico School of Medicine, Department of Orthopaedics and Rehabilitation, Albuquerque, New Mexico, USA. bgurney@salud.unm.edu

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Iontophoresis ostensibly facilitates the delivery of medications through the skin to underlying tissues using a direct electrical current. Dexamethasone is the most commonly used medication with iontophoresis to treat a variety of connective tissue disorders.

HYPOTHESIS:

Iontophoresis will facilitate the absorption of dexamethasone into connective tissue compared with diffusion.

STUDY DESIGN:

Controlled laboratory study.

METHODS:

Twenty-nine adults undergoing anterior cruciate ligament reconstructive surgery using the semitendinosus/gracilis autograft were randomly assigned to either a true iontophoresis (TI) or sham iontophoresis (SI). In the TI group, a 40-mA/min dose of iontophoresis using a 0.4% (4 mg/mL) solution of dexamethasone was used targeting the semitendinosus tendon just before surgery. The SI group underwent the same treatment, but the machine was not turned on. Tissue was extracted within 4 hours of treatment and analyzed for dexamethasone. In addition, 2 control samples were sent to the laboratory for analysis.

RESULTS:

There was a statistically significant difference in dexamethasone concentrations between the groups (P = .0216). Of the 16 samples in the TI group, 8 had measurable amounts of dexamethasone, with an average concentration of 2.906 ng/g of tendon tissue. In the SI group, 1 of the 13 samples had measurable amounts of dexamethasone with an average concentration of 0.205 ng/g of tendon tissue. The control samples contained no dexamethasone.

CONCLUSION:

Iontophoresis facilitates the transmission of dexamethasone to connective tissues in humans.

CLINICAL RELEVANCE:

Iontophoresis can deliver dexamethasone to connective tissues in humans.

PMID:
18192495
DOI:
10.1177/0363546507311597
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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