Background: The aim of this study was to evaluate the effects of dexmedetomidine on ischemia-reperfusion injury of epigastric island flaps of rats.
Methods: Eighty Wistar rats were divided into 4 groups. After the flap elevation, in group 1, the flaps were sutured back without ischemic insult. Groups 2, 3, and 4 were exposed to ischemia for 12 hours. In groups 1 and 2, saline, in group 3, 10 μg/kg dexmedetomidine, and in group 4, 30 μg/kg dexmedetomidine were administered i.p. 45 minutes before I/R periods. Each group was subdivided further into 2 equal groups (a and b). Tissue samples of groups 1a, 2a, 3a, and 4a were obtained 12 hours after the reperfusion, and those of groups 1b, 2b, 3b, and 4b were obtained after 7 days. The necrotic areas were also calculated. Nitric oxide, malondialdehyde (MDA), and myeloperoxidase (MPO) activity were assessed in the tissue samples.
Results: Nitric oxide, MDA, and MPO activity levels in group 2a were significantly higher those in group 1a (P < 0.05). The levels in groups 3a and 4a were lower than those in group 2a (P < 0.05). Nitric oxide, MDA, and MPO activity levels were significantly higher in group 2b compared with group 1b (P < 0.05). The levels were lower in Groups 3b and 4b compared with group 2b (P < 0.05). Flap necrosis area was significantly lower in groups 3b and 4b than that in group 2b (P < 0.05).
Conclusions: We conclude that administering dexmedetomidine before I/R periods can reduce ischemia-reperfusion injury of flaps, and it has a beneficial effect on flap survival.