To evaluate the effect of electrical stimulation (ES) combined with foam dressing on wound healing in rats with spinal cord injury.
Complete spinal cord injury was induced in 49 male Sprague-Dawley rats at the T11-L1 level, after which a pressure ulcer was induced on the left thigh. The newly invented surface electrode, which was fitted with foam inside, was applied to the ulcers. Rats were divided into 2 groups as follows: the ES group, which received foam dressings and ES (2 Hz and 200-microsecond duration, 15 mA) for 4 times a day, 30 minutes each, for 3 weeks; and the control group, which received the foam dressings without ES. The ulcer area was measured by taking a photograph daily from day 0 to day 21. Histopathologic and immune-histochemical evaluations were performed on day 1 and days 7, 14, and 21.
The area of the ulcers of the ES group was smaller than that of the control group after day 14 (P < .05). In the ES group, the vascularity was significantly greater on day 14 and more decreased on day 21 compared with day 7 than that in the control group (P < .05). In the ES group, the area of positive reaction to anti-α–SMA antibody was increased compared with the control group on days 7 and 14 and decreased on day 21 (P > .05).
Electrical stimulation combined with foam dressing by means of newly invented surface electrodes facilitates and accelerates the wound-healing process.