The authors investigated whether the application of platelet-derived growth factor (PDGF) to donor site wounds would speed healing in a porcine model. In a red duroc pig model, three wounds that were 3 inches x 3 inches were created with a dermatome (0.06-inch depth) on one side of two different animals. These wounds were digitally and laser Doppler (LDI) imaged and biopsied immediately pre- and postwound creation and every 2 days for 2 weeks. A set of identical wounds were subsequently created on the opposite side of the same animals and treated with topical PDGF (becaplermin gel 0.01%, 4 g/wound) immediately on wounding. PDGF-treated wounds were imaged and biopsied as above. Digital images of wounds were assessed for epithelialization by clinicians using an ordinal scale. Perfusion units (PU) were evaluated by LDI. Wound healing was evaluated by hematoxylin and eosin histological visualization of an epithelium and intact basement membrane. First evidence of partial epithelialization was seen in control and PDGF-treated wounds within 7.7 +/- 1.4 and 6.4 +/- 1.1 days postwounding, respectively (P=.03). Completely epithelialized biopsies were seen in control and PDGF-treated wounds at 11.7 +/- 2.6 and 9.6 +/- 1.5 days, respectively (P=.02). Clinician evaluation of digital images showed that on day 9, control wounds were, on average, 48.3 +/- 18.5% epithelialized vs 57.2 +/- 20.2% epithelialized for PDGF-treated wounds. At day 16, control wounds showed an average of 72.9 +/- 14.6% epithelialization and PDGF-treated wounds showed an average of 90 +/- 11.8%epithelialization. Overall, PDGF-treated wounds had statistically significantly higher scores across all timepoints (P=.02). Average perfusion units as measured by LDI were similar for control and PDGF-treated wounds at time of excision (225 +/- 81and 257 +/- 100, respectively). On day 2 postwounding, average PU for control wounds were 803 and were 764 for PDGF-treated wounds. Control wounds maintained higher PU values compared with PDGF-treated wounds at all time points and returned to excision PU values by day 12.2 +/- 1.1 postwounding. PDGF-treated wounds reached the same values by day 9.7 +/- 2.3 (P=.03). The authors conclude that topical PDGF speeds time to epithelialization of partial-thickness wounds in a porcine model as evidenced by histology, clinical appearance, and time to return to prewounding vascularity.
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