Effect of Electroacupuncture at The Zusanli Point (Stomach-36) on Dorsal Random Pattern Skin Flap Survival in a Rat Model

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Abstract

BACKGROUND

Random skin flaps are commonly used for wound repair and reconstruction. Electroacupuncture at The Zusanli point could enhance microcirculation and blood perfusion in random skin flaps.

OBJECTIVE

To determine whether electroacupuncture at The Zusanli point can improve the survival of random skin flaps in a rat model.

MATERIALS AND METHODS

Thirty-six male Sprague Dawley rats were randomly divided into 3 groups: control group (no electroacupuncture), Group A (electroacupuncture at a nonacupoint near The Zusanli point), and Group B (electroacupuncture at The Zusanli point). McFarlane flaps were established. On postoperative Day 2, malondialdehyde (MDA) and superoxide dismutase were detected. The flap survival rate was evaluated, inflammation was examined in hematoxylin and eosin–stained slices, and the expression of vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) was measured immunohistochemically on Day 7.

RESULTS

The mean survival area of the flaps in Group B was significantly larger than that in the control group and Group A. Superoxide dismutase activity and VEGF expression level were significantly higher in Group B than those in the control group and Group A, whereas MDA and inflammation levels in Group B were significantly lower than those in the other 2 groups.

CONCLUSION

Electroacupuncture at The Zusanli point can effectively improve the random flap survival.

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