Hydrogen-rich saline reduces tissue injury and improves skin flap survival on a rat hindlimb degloving injury model

Background: Degloving injuries represent a challenge in plastic surgery. The aim of this study is to acknowledge the protective effects of hydrogen-rich saline (HRS) solution on a rat hindlimb degloved skin flap. Methods: Twenty-one Sprague-Dawley rats were divided into three groups (control, saline and HRS). Degloving injury model was established, and flaps were sutured back following 5 min of ischemia. The control group did not receive any treatment. The saline group received intraperitoneal physiological saline (10 ml/kg) and the HRS group received intraperitoneal HRS solution (10 ml/kg) postoperatively and daily for 5 days after the operation. Skin samples were obtained for histological, immunohistochemical and biochemical evaluations. Results: Inflammation was lower in the HRS compared with saline (p = 0.02) and control (p = 0.004) groups. Edema was lower in the HRS compared with saline (p = 0.02) and control (p = 0.001) groups. Malondialdehyde (MDA) level was lower in the HRS than the control group (p = 0.01). Total antioxidant level was higher in the HRS compared with saline (p = 0.009) and control (p = 0.03) groups. Total oxidant level was lower in the HRS than the control group (p = 0.02). Oxidative stress index was lower in the HRS compared with saline (p = 0.001) and control (p = 0.0001) groups’. Vascular proliferation was higher in the HRS compared with the control group (p = 0.01). Conclusion: Repeated HRS injections after trauma increased the viability of skin flap in rat degloving injury model by decreasing local tissue injury, due to its antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and angiogenic effects.