Favorable effects of progesterone on skin random flap survival in rats

Document Type: Original Article


1 Department of Orthopaedics, Southern Medical University, Guangdong No.2 Province people’s Hospital, Guangdong, China

2 Department of Hand Surgeries, The Second Affiliated Hospital of Wenzhou Medical University, Wenzhou, China

3 Department of Hand Surgeries, The No.4 People's Hospital of Hengshui, Hengshui, China


Objective(s): The aim of this study is to determine the effects of progesterone treatment on the survival of random skin flaps.
Materials and Methods: McFarlane flaps were established and 40 male rats were randomly assigned to the progesterone-treated as the test group or normal saline-treated as the control group. Progesterone or normal saline (10 mg/kg) was administered intraperitoneally once daily. On postoperative day 2, malondialdehyde (MDA) and superoxide dismutase (SOD) were detected using test kits. Flap survival rates were evaluated with transparent graph paper under direct visualization, the levels of inflammation were examined by haematoxylin and eosin (H&E) staining, and the expression of vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) was immunohistochemically evaluated on day 7.
Results: Compared to that in the control group, the mean survival area was significantly larger in the progesterone group. SOD activity was increased significantly, but the MDA levels in the test group were decreased. H&E-stained slices revealed that inflammation was inhibited in the test group. VEGF expression markedly increased in the progesterone group.
Conclusion: This study showed that progesterone administered intraperitoneally significantly improved random skin flap survival in rats.


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