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J Trauma. 2011 May;70(5):1192-7. doi: 10.1097/TA.0b013e318217879a.

Poloxamer-188 reduces muscular edema after tourniquet-induced ischemia-reperfusion injury in rats.

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Extremity Trauma and Regenerative Medicine Research Program, United States Army Institute of Surgical Research, San Antonio, Texas 78234, USA.



Skeletal muscle injury can result in significant edema, which can in turn lead to the development of acute extremity compartment syndrome (CS). Poloxamer-188 (P-188), a multiblock copolymer surfactant, has been shown to decrease edema by sealing damaged membranes in a number of tissues after a variety of injury modalities. The objective is to determine whether the administration of P-188 significantly reduces skeletal muscle edema associated with ischemia/reperfusion injury (I-R).


Male Sprague-Dawley rats underwent 180 minutes of tourniquet-induced ischemia. Five minutes before tourniquet release, rats received either a bolus of (1) P-188 (150 mg/kg; P-188 group) or (2) vehicle (Vehicle group) via a jugular catheter (n=10 per group). After 240 minutes reperfusion, both groups received a second bolus of either P-188 (P-188) or vehicle (Vehicle) via a tail vein catheter. Sixteen hours later, rats were killed; muscle weights were determined, infarct size (2,3,5-triphenyltetrazolium chloride method), and blinded histologic analysis (hematoxylin and eosin) were performed on the gastrocnemius and tibialis anterior muscles, as well as indices of antioxidant status.


P-188 resulted in significantly less edema (wet weight) and reduced an index of lipid peroxidation compared with Vehicle (p<0.05). Wet:dry weight ratios were less in the P-188 group (indicating less edema). Muscle viability as indicated by 2,3,5-triphenyltetrazolium chloride staining or routine histology did not reveal statistically significant differences between groups.


P-188 significantly reduced ischemia-reperfusion-related muscle edema and lipid peroxidation but did not impact muscle viability. Excess edema can lead to acute extremity CS, which is associated with significant morbidity and mortality. P-188 may provide a potential adjunctive treatment for the reduction of CS.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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