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The additive effects of carnitine and ascorbic acid on distally burned dorsal skin flap in rats

Emrah Arslan, Yavuz Basterzi, Alper Aksoy, Christopher Majka, Sakir Unal, Alper Sari, Ferit Demirkan

Med Sci Monit 2005; 11(6): BR176-180

ID: 16488

Available online: 2005-06-01

Published: 2005-06-01

Background: The purpose of this study was to determine the effects of combined use of L-carnitine and vitamin C on partially burned skin fl ap in an experimental rat model.
Material/Methods: In the rat dorsal skin, a 10×3 cm fl ap was marked. The most distal 3×3 cm part was burned to full thickness. Twenty-four rats were randomized into four groups with 6 animals in each. Group 1 was simply followed up. Group 2 was given 0.5 mg/kg vitamin C per day for 7 days, group 3 100 mg/kg carnitine per day for 7 days, and group 4 both carnitine and vitamin C. On the eighth postoperative
day, the animals were sacrifi ced and examined. The surviving and necrotic areas were determined by macroscopic examination and measured with a planimeter.
Results: The areas of fl ap necrosis were measured. The median surviving areas and areas of fl ap necrosis, respectively, of the groups were: group 1, 16.0 cm2 and 14.0 cm2; group 2, 18.25 cm2 and 11.75 cm2; group 3, 20.0 cm2 and 10 cm2; and group 4, 23.75 cm2 and 6.25 cm2. The surviving areas of the groups were found to be signifi cantly different (p=0.000).
Conclusions: The risk of ischemia-induced necrosis in fl ap attempts made in damaged tissues may be reduced by the combination of two promising agents, L-carnitine and vitamin C. L-carnitine appears to be
the major contributing factor that reduces necrosis, and vitamin C an additive agent.

Keywords: Ascorbic Acid - therapeutic use, Carnitine - therapeutic use, Animals, Antioxidants - therapeutic use, Ascorbic Acid - therapeutic use, Burns - drug therapy, Carnitine - therapeutic use, Disease Models, Animal, Rats, Rats, Sprague-Dawley, Skin - pathology, Surgical Flaps