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Rats Given Clopidogrel Show Improved Skin Flap Survival

Significantly broader tissue survival areas observed seven days after surgery

TUESDAY, Aug. 28 (HealthDay News) -- Administering the platelet inhibitor clopidogrel after surgical raising of epigastric island flaps in rats was associated with significantly better flap survival, according to study results published in the August issue of the Journal of Plastic, Reconstructive and Aesthetic Surgery.

Atilla Ersoy, of Iskenderun Government Hospital in Iskenderun, Turkey, and colleagues performed epigastric island flap surgery on 20 rats. Ten of these were administered seven daily doses of 25 mg/kg clopidogrel beginning immediately after surgery.

The mean surviving flap area was 78 percent in the clopidogrel group versus 53 percent in the control group. Skin samples revealed thinning of the epidermis layer and active inflammation in both groups, but diffuse dilated vessels and extravasated eritrocytes were observed in the flaps of the clopidogrel group.

"The results indicated a significant increase in flap survival in rats given clopidogrel," the authors conclude. "Further research is needed to assess the critical does of clopidogrel to create optimal flap survival improvement."

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