Inhibition of the compartment syndrome by the ablation of free radical-mediated reperfusion injury

B. A. Perler, A. G. Tohmeh, G. B. Bulkley

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Skeletal muscle edema secondary to an increase in capillary permeability after reflow is an important cause of the compartment syndrome after acute arterial revascularization. The purpose of this study was to investigate the possible role of oxygen free radicals, generated at reperfusion, in the pathogenesis of the compartment syndrome secondary to acute arterial ischemia/reperfusion. A reproducible model of this syndrome was produced in anesthetized rabbits by femoral artery occlusion after surgical devascularization of collateral branches from the aorta to the popliteal artery. Increasing periods of ischemia from 6 to 12 hours, followed by 2 hours of reperfusion, were associated with corresponding increases in the anterior muscle compartment hydrostatic pressure and inversely proportional decreases in tibialis anterior muscle blood flow within that compartment as assessed by xenon 133 washout (n = 46) (r = -0.62, p < 0.001). Anterior compartment pressure increased from 5 ± 1 to 48 ± 5 mm Hg (n = 46) (p < 0.001) after 7 hours of total arterial ischemia and 2 hours of reperfusion. Ablation of free radicals generated from xanthine oxidase with either allopurinol (n = 8) or oxypurinol (n = 8), by scavenging the superoxide radical at reperfusion with superoxide dismutase (n = 8), or by blocking secondary hydroxyl radical formation with deferoxamine (n = 8) significantly ameliorated the rise in compartment pressure (p < 0.05) in each case; it also significantly improved muscle perfusion in the superoxide dismutase, allopurinol-, and deferoxamine-treated animals (p < 0.05). These findings indicate that development of the compartment syndrome after acute arterial revascularization may be due, at least in part, to microvascular injury mediated by oxygen-derived free radicals generated from xanthine oxidase at reperfusion.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)40-47
Number of pages8
JournalSurgery
Volume108
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 1990

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery

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