The application of random pattern skin flaps is limited in plastic surgery reconstruction due to necrosis. Trans-cinnamaldehyde has antibacterial, anticancer, and antioxidant properties. In this study, we aimed to investigate the effect of trans-cinnamaldehyde on skin flap survival and its possible mechanism regarding nitric oxide.
One hundred forty male Sprague-Dawley rats were randomly divided into seven groups (n = 20 each group). After the dorsal flap was raised, different doses of trans-cinnamaldehyde (10, 20, and 30 mg/kg) were immediately given by oral gavage in the three different groups. To assess the possible involvement of the nitric oxide system, N G-nitro-L-arginine methyl ester (L-NAME, a nonselective nitric oxide synthase inhibitor) was used in this study. All flap samples were incised on postoperative day 7.
Our results showed that flap survival was increased significantly in the 20 mg/kg (P < 0.001) trans-cinnamaldehyde (TC) group compared to the control group or 30 mg/kg TC group. This protective function was restrained by coadministration of L-NAME with 20 mg/kg TC. The results of histopathology, laser Doppler, arteriography mediated with oxide–gelatine, and fluorescent staining all showed a significant increase in capillary count, collagen deposition, angiogenesis, and flap perfusion. Immunohistochemistry results revealed a significant increase in the expression of CD34, eNOS, and VEGF.