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Cancer Lett. 1998 Jun 5;128(1):71-8.

A model of wound healing in chronically radiation-damaged rat skin.

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Department of Surgery, University of Pennsylvania Medical Center, Philadelphia 19104, USA.


The aim of this investigation was to develop a model for studying the chronic effects of radiation on wound healing in the rat. Six months after rats received a single radiation exposure of 20 Gy, a random-pattern dorsal skin flap was elevated. Two weeks after the flap was elevated, irradiated animals showed diminished scar formation and wound breaking strength, as compared with controls (P < 0.05). The effect of hyperbaric oxygen treatment was investigated in some rats who received 20 sessions at 2.4 atmospheres absolute for 90 min daily, 5 days per week, prior to flap elevation and 10 sessions after creation of the flap. Treated animals showed a trend toward improvements in wound breaking strength and scar formation (P = 0.06). A reproducible model of chronic radiation damage in the rat was established. Further studies involving investigations at times more that 2 weeks post-wounding are needed.

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