To investigate whether hyperthermic preconditioning can actually protect skin flaps against ischemia/reperfusion injury, the authors first developed a new skin-flap model in 15 mice, a dorsal bipedicle island skin-flap model. Then, another 75 mice were separated into five groups. Mice in Groups 1 to 4 received the same hyperthermic preconditioning, but had different recovery times of 6 hr, 24 hr, 48 hr, and 72 hr, respectively. Mice in Group 5 served as control. Island skin flaps were elevated in all groups, and then were subjected to 8 hr of ischemia and subsequent reperfusion. Flap survival was statistically significantly higher than in controls in animals in Groups 1 and 3, with recovery times of 6 hr and 48 hr, respectively. Mice in Groups 2 and 4 had recovery times of 24 hr and 72 hr, respectively. Hyperthermic preconditioning could thus protect skin flaps against ischemia/reperfusion injury, and there were two optimal periods for such a protective effect.
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