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Medical management of cutaneous sulfur mustard injuries

TitleMedical management of cutaneous sulfur mustard injuries
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2008
AuthorsGraham J.S, Stevenson R.S, Mitcheltree L.W, Hamilton T.A, Deckert R.R, Lee R.B, Schiavetta A.M
Date PublishedAug 14
ISBN Number0300-483X (Print)
Accession Number18762227

BACKGROUND: Sulfur mustard (2,2'-dichlorodiethyl sulfide; HD) is a potent vesicating chemical warfare agent that poses a continuing threat to both military and civilian populations. Significant cutaneous HD injuries can take several months to heal, necessitate lengthy hospitalizations, and result in long-term complications. There are currently no standardized or optimized methods of casualty management. New strategies are needed to provide for optimal and rapid wound healing. OBJECTIVE: The primary aim of this research was to develop improved clinical strategies (treatment guidelines) for optimal treatment of superficial dermal (second degree) cutaneous HD injuries, with the goal of returning damaged skin to optimal appearance and normal function in the shortest period of time. METHODS: Superficial dermal HD injuries were created on the ventral abdominal surface of weanling pigs. At 48h post-exposure, lesions were laser debrided and a treatment adjunct applied. Cultured epithelial allografts and 11 commercial off-the-shelf (COTS) products were examined for their efficacy in improving wound healing of these injuries. Clinical evaluations and a variety of non-invasive bioengineering methods were used at 7 and 14 days post-surgery to follow the progress of wound healing and evaluate various cosmetic and functional properties of the wounds. Measurements included reflectance colorimetry to measure erythema; evaporimetry to examine transepidermal water loss as a method of evaluating barrier function; torsional ballistometry to evaluate the mechanical properties of skin firmness and elasticity; and two-dimensional high frequency ultrasonography (HFU) to monitor skin thickness (e.g., edema, scar tissue). Histopathology and immunohistochemistry were performed 14 days following surgery to examine structural integrity and quality of healing. Logical Decisions((R)) for Windows was used to rank the 12 treatment adjuncts that were studied. RESULTS: The most efficacious treatment adjuncts included (1) Vacuum Assisted Closuretrade mark, V.A.C.((R)), involving application of topical negative pressure, (2) Amino-Plex((R)) Spray (biO(2) Cosmeceuticals International, Inc., Beverly Hills, CA), a nutritive cosmeceutical product that is designed to increase oxygen in cells, stimulate ATP synthesis, improve glucose transportation, stimulate collagen formation, and promote angiogenesis, and (3) ReCell((R)) Autologous Cell Harvesting Device (Clinical Cell Culture Americas LLC, Coral Springs, Florida), an innovative medical device that was developed to allow rapid harvesting of autologous cells from a thin split-thickness biopsy followed by spray application of a population of skin cells onto wounds within 30min of collecting the biopsy, without the need of culturing the keratinocytes in a clinical laboratory. CONCLUSIONS: Complete re-epithelialization of debrided HD injuries in 7 days is possible. In general, shallow laser debridement through the basement membrane zone (100mum) appears to provide better results than deeper debridement (400mum) with respect to early re-epithelialization, cosmetic appearance, functional restoration, and structural integrity. Of the 12 treatment adjuncts examined, the most promising included Vacuum Assisted Closuretrade mark, Amino-Plex((R)) Spray, and ReCell((R)) Autologous Cell Harvesting Device.

Short TitleToxicology

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