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      Effects of vacuum-assisted closure therapy on inguinal wound edge microvascular blood flow.

      Wound Repair and Regeneration

      Abdomen, blood supply, Animals, Granulation Tissue, physiology, Laser-Doppler Flowmetry, Microcirculation, Statistics, Nonparametric, Swine, Vacuum, Wound Healing, Wounds and Injuries, therapy

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          Vacuum-assisted closure (VAC) therapy has been shown to facilitate wound healing. Data on the mechanisms are scarce, although beneficial effects on blood flow and granulation tissue formation have been presented. In the current study, laser Doppler was used to measure microvascular blood flow to an inguinal wound in pigs during VAC therapy (-50 to -200 mmHg), including consideration of the different tissue types and the distance from the wound edge. VAC treatment induced an increase in microvascular blood flow a few centimeters from the wound edge. The increase in blood flow occurred closer to the wound edge in muscular as compared to subcutaneous tissue (1.5 cm and 3 cm, at -75 mmHg). In the immediate proximity to the wound edge, blood flow was decreased. This hypoperfused zone was increased with decreasing pressure and was especially prominent in subcutaneous as compared to muscular tissue (0-1.9 cm vs. 0-1.0 cm, at -100 mmHg). When VAC therapy was terminated, blood flow increased multifold, which may be due to reactive hyperemia. In conclusion, VAC therapy affects microvascular blood flow to the wound edge and may thereby promote wound healing. A low negative pressure during treatment may be beneficial, especially in soft tissue, to minimize possible ischemic effects. Intermittent VAC therapy may further increase blood flow.

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