Wound Healing: The Effect of Supplemental Oxygen Therapy


Name: Brenda Mygrant

Rank: LTC, USA

Organization: The Geneva Foundation

Performance Site: Madigan Army Medical Center, Tacoma, WA

Year Published: 1996

Abstract Status: Final


The purpose of this pilot study was to clarify tissue and healing requirements with regard to the clinical use of oxygen (timing, dose, duration). Tissue oxygen and wound healing effects of short term, postoperative oxygen therapy were tested.Twenty four subjects having fusion of the cervical spine and/or excision of a cervical intervertebral disc were enrolled in a randomized, experimental repeated measures design. The treatment group (n=13) received 28% oxygen for the first 36 postoperative hours. The control group (n=11) was maintained on room air. Subcutaneous tissue oxygen (PscO2) and temperature (Tsc) were measured pre-treatment and at postoperative hours 1-4, 18 and 36 using a tonometer/oxygen electrode system. Wound healing was evaluated by hydroxyproline content in a subcutaneous polytetrafluoroethylene (ePTFE) tube removed on the 7th postoperative day. Clinical wound complications were evaluated using the ASEPSIS Wound Scoring System and postoperative medical record review.Groups were similar for age, preoperative hematocrit, pre-albumin, Tsc, and fluid repletion. PscO2 values (mmHg; M┬▒SD) are shown below:



Hour 1

Hour 2

Hour 3

Hour 4

Hour 18

Hour 36


53 (9) t49 (7) 47 (9) 49 (9) 46 (13) 51 (14) 47 (5)


54 (10) 61 (14) 62 (18) 61 (21) 63 (23) 75 (11) 73 (16)

á á Significant differences, (p<. 05) at hours 1, 2, 18, 36Hydroxyproline levels and ASEPSIS data were similar between groups. Post discharge chart review documented slightly higher (but non-significant) differences in wound erythema and swelling.Low level, short duration supplemental oxygen increased and sustained wound tissue oxygen levels and was well tolerated. Future studies will increase sample size, and investigate variables of dose and duration of therapy in relation to clinical and cellular wound healing outcomes.


Final report is available on NTRL: https://ntrl.ntis.gov/NTRL/dashboard/searchResults/titleDetail/PB2002107...