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J Surg Res. 2012 Aug;176(2):701-7. doi: 10.1016/j.jss.2011.11.1040. Epub 2011 Dec 24.

Effective method to remove wound bacteria: comparison of various debridement modalities in an in vivo porcine model.

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Department of Dermatology and Cutaneous Surgery, University of Miami Miller School of Medicine, Miami, Florida 33136, USA.



Debridement is one of the crucial steps for successful wound care. In addition to removing necrotic tissue, debridement has been shown to reduce wound-associated bacteria that delay healing. Using an in vivo porcine model, we compared the effects of various methods of debridement, including hydrosurgery and plasma-mediated bipolar radiofrequency ablation (PBRA), on bacterial removal and wound healing.


One hundred thirty-five deep dermal wounds were inoculated with methicillin resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) and covered with a polyurethane dressing for 48 h to allow for biofilm formation. Wounds were then treated with either PBRA (at two settings), hydrosurgery, sharp debridement, or no debridement. Biopsies were collected for microbiology and histologic assessment on d 0, 2, 9, and 21 post-treatment.


All treatment groups showed a statistically significant reduction in MRSA counts relative to no debridement at all times points (P < 0.05). PBRA at a maximum setting had the lowest MRSA counts at all recovery times and, compared with all other treatment groups, a statistically significant difference was observed on d 21 (P < 0.05). No detrimental effects on the healing process were noted with any of the debridement methods.


While sharp debridement has been established as the traditional gold standard for rapid removal of necrotic, infected tissue, our results suggest that novel debridement modalities show clinical promise for the treatment of chronic ulcers and burn wounds, especially when bacteria are present.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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