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AnteayerInternational Wound Journal

Continuous tension reduction technique in facial scar management: A comparison of W‐plasty and straight‐line closure on aesthetic effects in Asian patients


W-plasty is a very popular scar excisional revision technique. The core of the technique is to break up the scar margins into small triangular components, so as to cause light scattering and make the scar less noticeable. However, due to skin tension, facial incision scars tend to spread. Applying W-plasty alone cannot achieve the ideal repair effect of facial scars. In this study, we proposed a scar revision technique combined W-plasty with continuous tension-reduction (CTR) technique to improve the appearance of facial scars. Sixty patients with facial scar were comprised in this retrospective study. Scars were assessed independently using the scar scale before and at 12-month follow-up. Clinical results showed a significant difference in scar appearance between different groups at 12-month follow-up. Vancouver scar scale (VSS), visual analogue scale (VAS) scores, and patient satisfaction were significant better in W-plasty and CTR than other groups at 12-month follow-up. No severe complications were reported. The application of the tension offloading device provides an environment where the tension is continuously reduced, which could greatly decrease tension on the surgical incision. Combined with W-plasty, this technique could significantly improve the scar's aesthetic appearance.

Relationship between surgeon volume and the risk of deep surgical site infection (DSSI) following open reduction and internal fixation of displaced intra‐articular calcaneal fracture


It is well established that the postoperative results were affected by the surgeon volume in a variety of elective and emergent orthopaedic surgeries; however, by far, no evidences have been available as for surgically treated displaced intra-articular calcaneal fractures (DIACFs). We aimed at investigating the relationship between surgeon volume and deep surgical site infection (DSSI) following open reduction and internal fixation (ORIF) of DIACFs. This was a further analysis of prospectively collected data from a validated database. Patients with DIACFs stabilised by ORIF between 2016 and 2019 were identified. Surgeon volume was defined as the number of surgically treated calcaneal fractures within one calendar year and was dichotomised based on the optimal cut-off value. The outcome measure was DSSI within 1 year postoperatively. Multivariate logistics regression analyses were performed to examine the relationship, adjusting for confounders. Among 883 patients, 19 (2.2%) were found to have a DSSI. The DSSI incidence was 6.5% in surgeons with a low volume (<6/year), 5.5 times as that in those with a high volume (≥6/year) (incidence rate, 1.2%; P < 0.001). The multivariate analyses showed a low volume <6/year was associated with a 5.8-fold increased risk of DSSI (95% confidence interval, 2.2-16.5, P < 0.001). This value slightly increased after multiple sensitivity analyses, with statistical significances still unchanged (OR range, 6.6-6.9; P ≤ 0.001). The inverse relationship indicates a need for at least six cases/year for a surgeon to substantially reduce the DSSIs following the ORIF of DIACFs.

Clinical significance of the secondary pedicle amputation of the repair of distal defects with pedicled axial flap


We aimed to explore the clinical significance of the secondary pedicle amputation of the repair of distal defects with pedicled axial flap. Five patients who underwent pedicled axial flap transfer to repair a large area of skin and soft tissue defects in our hospital were included in this retrospective study. Detailed information including general data and clinical data, such as preoperative complication, type of primary wound, the distance between the primary wound and the donor site (cm), postoperative complications, and types of axial flap were collected. The patients had good joint movement at 6 months after pedicle amputation. At 48 hours after transplantation, except for the last patient (NO.5), there were no obvious complications such as blood supply disorder, infection, and incision dehiscence of the patients, and the flaps survived well. Just after pedicle amputation, 3 and 6 months after pedicle amputation, the flaps survived well with good local morphology. Forty-eight hours after operation, part of the distal flap in the last patient (NO.5) was necrotic. After 6 months of pedicle amputation, part of the flap was transferred to the distal wound again. At 6 months after pedicle amputation, these patients could accept local scars even though the scar of the last patient was obvious. The secondary pedicle amputation of the repair of distal defects with axial flap could avoid the compression of the vascular pedicle in the subcutaneous tunnel between the donor site and the primary wound, which may ensure the bold supply and increase the survival rate of the flap.

The biomechanical efficacy of a hydrogel‐based dressing in preventing facial medical device‐related pressure ulcers


Continuous positive airway pressure masks for breathing assistance are used widely during the coronavirus pandemic. Nonetheless, these masks endanger the viability of facial tissues even after a few hours because of the sustained tissue deformations and extreme microclimate conditions. The risk of developing such device-related pressure ulcers/injuries can be reduced through suitable cushioning materials at the mask-skin interface, to alleviate localised contact forces. Here, we determined the facial tissue loading state under an oral-nasal mask while using hydrogel-based dressing cuts (Paul Hartmann AG, Heidenheim, Germany) for prophylaxis, which is a new concept in prevention of device-related injuries. For this purpose, we measured the compressive mask-skin contact forces at the nasal bridge, cheeks, and chin with vs without these dressing cuts and fed these data to a finite element, adult head model. Model variants were developed to compare strain energy densities and effective stresses in skin and through the facial tissue depth, with vs without the dressing cuts. We found that the dry (new) dressing cuts reduced tissue exposures to loads (above the median loading level) by at least 30% at the nasal bridge and by up to 99% at the cheeks, across the tissue depth. These dressing cuts were further able to maintain at least 65% and 89% of their protective capacity under moisture at the nasal bridge and cheeks, respectively. The hydrogel-based dressings demonstrated protective efficacy at all the tested facial sites but performed the best at the nasal bridge and cheeks, which are at the greatest injury risk.

Fractal analysis of rat dermal tissue in the different injury states


Scar formation and chronic ulcers can develop following a skin injury. They are the result of the over- or underproduction of collagen. It is very important to evaluate the quality and quantity of the collagen that is produced during wound healing, especially with respect to its structure, as these factors are very important to a complicated outcome. However, there is no standard way to quantitatively analyse dermal collagen. As prior work characterised some potentially fractal properties of collagen, it was hypothesised that collagen structure could be evaluated with fractal dimension analysis. Small-angle X-ray scattering technology (SAXS) was used to evaluate the dermis of rats exposed to graft harvest, burn, and diabetic pathologic states. It was found that almost all collagen structures could be quantitatively measured with fractal dimension analysis. Further, there were significant differences in the three-dimensional (3-D) structure of normal collagen versus that measured in pathologic tissues. There was a significant difference in the 3-D structure of collagen at different stages of healing. The findings of this work suggest that fractal analysis is a good tool for wound healing analysis, and that quantitative collagen analysis is very useful for assessing the structure of dermal collagen.

A systematic review of ozone therapy for treating chronically refractory wounds and ulcers


This study aims at evaluating the efficacy and safety of ozone therapy for chronic wounds. The Cochrane Library, PubMed, Ovid Embase, Web of Science, and Chinese Biomedical Literature Database were searched. Randomised controlled trials (RCTs) about participants with chronic wounds were included. Risk of bias assessment was performed by the Cochrane risk-of-bias tool. A randomised-effects model was applied to pool results according to the types of wounds or ulcers. Among 12 included studies, ozone was implemented by topical application (ozone gas bath, ozonated oil, ozone water flushing) and systematic applications including autologous blood immunomodulation and rectal insufflation. The results indicated compared with standard control therapy for diabetic foot ulcers, ozone therapy regardless of monotherapy or combined control treatment markedly accelerated the improvement of the wound area(standardised mean difference(SMD) = 66.54%, 95% confidence interval (CI) = [46.18,86.90], P < .00001) and reduced the amputation rate (risk ration (RR) = 0.36, 95% CI = [0.24,0.54], P < .00001). But there is no improvement in the proportion of participants with completely healed wounds and length of hospital stay. No adverse events associated with ozone treatment have been reported. And the efficacy of ozone therapy for other wound types is still uncertain because of no sufficient studies. More high-quality randomised controlled trials are needed to confirm the efficacy and safety of ozone therapy for chronic wounds or ulcers.

Potential predictors of quality of life in patients with venous leg ulcers: A cross‐sectional study in Taiwan


Internationally, the impact of venous leg ulcers (VLUs) on the quality of life is well recognised; however, in Taiwan, the focus is only on chronic wound management. This cross-sectional correlational study conducted at the cardiovascular and plastic surgery clinics of a regional teaching hospital between August 2019 and June 2020 investigates venous clinical severity, pain, fatigue, depression, sleep quality, quality of life, and related factors among 167 patients with VLUs. The potential predictors of the quality of life in terms of activities were venous clinical severity (P < 0.001), pain (P = 0.004), and fatigue (P < 0.001) after adjusting for covariates. The potential predictors of the quality of life in terms of the psychological domain were marital status (single/divorced) (P = 0.016), marital status (widowed) (P = 0.027), venous clinical severity (P < 0.001), pain (P = 0.001), and fatigue (P = 0.002). The potential predictors of the quality of life with regard to symptoms were venous clinical severity (P < 0.001), pain (P < 0.001), fatigue (P = 0.001), and depression (P = 0.038). These potential predictors can serve as the basis of interventions for patients with VLUs, such as those related to nutrition or training in wound dressing.

Diagnosis and treatment of the invasive extension of bacteria (cellulitis) from chronic wounds utilising point‐of‐care fluorescence imaging


Early diagnosis of wound-related cellulitis is challenging as many classical signs and symptoms of infection (erythema, pain, tenderness, or fever) may be absent. In addition, other conditions (ie, chronic stasis dermatitis) may present with similar clinical findings. Point-of-care fluorescence imaging detects elevated bacterial burden in and around wounds with high sensitivity. This prospective observational study examined the impact of incorporating fluorescence imaging into standard care for diagnosis and management of wound-related cellulitis. Two hundred thirty-six patients visiting an outpatient wound care centre between January 2020 and April 2021 were included in this study. Patients underwent routine fluorescence scans for bacteria (range: 1-48 scans/patient). Wound-related cellulitis was diagnosed in 6.4% (15/236) of patients. In these patients, fluorescence scans showed an irregular pattern of red (bacterial) fluorescence extending beyond the wound bed and periwound that could not be removed through cleansing or debridement, indicating the invasive extension of bacteria (wound-related cellulitis). Point-of-care identification facilitated rapid initiation of treatments (source control and antibiotics, when warranted) that resolved the fluorescence. No patients had worsening of cellulitis requiring intravenous antibiotics and/or hospitalisation. These findings demonstrate the utility of point-of-care fluorescence imaging for efficient detection and proactive, targeted management of wound-related cellulitis.

Pressure injury prevalence and incidence in acute inpatient care and related risk factors: A cross‐sectional national study


The aim of this national cross-sectional study was to explore the prevalence of pressure injuries and incidence of hospital-acquired pressure injuries, and the relating factors in somatic-specialised inpatient care in Finland. The study was conducted in 16 (out of 21) Finnish health care organisations offering specialised health care services. Data were collected in 2018 and 2019 from adult patients (N = 5902) in inpatient, emergency follow-up, and rehabilitation units. Pressure injury prevalence (all stages/categories) was 12.7%, and the incidence of hospital-acquired pressure injuries was 10%. Of the participants, 2.6% had at least one pressure injury at admission. The risk of hospital-acquired pressure injuries was increased for medical patients with a higher age, the inability to move independently, mode of arrival, being underweight, and the absence of a skin assessment or pressure injury risk assessment at admission. For surgical patients, the risk was associated with the inability to move independently, mode of arrival, and lack of skin assessment at admission, while being overweight protected the patients. Overall, medical patients were in greater risk of hospital-acquired pressure injuries than the surgical patients. An assessment of the pressure injury risk and skin status should be carried out more systematically in Finnish acute care hospitals.

What COVID‐19 taught us: New opportunities and pathways from telemedicine and novel antiseptics in wound healing


The COVID-19 pandemic deeply impacted the capacity of the health systems to maintain preventive and curative services, especially for the most vulnerable populations. During the pandemic, the wound healing centres in Italy assisted a significant reduction of the frequency of their hospital admission, since only urgencies, such as severe infections or wound haemorrhagic complications, were allowed to the hospital. The aim of this multidisciplinary work is to highlight the importance of a new pathway of wound care with patient-based therapeutic approach, tailored treatments based on the characteristics of the wound and fast tracks focused on the outpatient management, reserving hospital assessment only for patients with complicated or complex wounds. This analysis highlights the point that patients with chronic wounds need to be critically evaluated in order to find the best and most appropriate care pathway, which should vary according to the patient and, especially, to the characteristics of the wound. Moreover, the most adequate topic antiseptic should be started as soon as possible. An appropriate and correct management of the wound care will allow to link the knowledge based on years of clinical practice with the new challenges and the need to visit patients remotely, when possible.

Economic model to estimate cost of negative pressure wound therapy with instillation vs control therapies for hospitalised patients in the United States, Germany, and United Kingdom


An economic model was developed to estimate the cost of negative pressure wound therapy with instillation and dwelling of a topical wound solution vs control therapies. Economic model inputs were means derived from the results of a recently published systematic review and meta-analysis of 13 comparative studies of negative pressure wound therapy with instillation. Means across studies comprising complex acute and chronic wounds for negative pressure wound therapy-instillation vs control (negative pressure wound therapy without instillation, gauze dressings, or gentamicin polymethylmethacrylate beads) groups were 1.77 vs 2.69 operating room visits (P = .008) and 9.88 vs 21.80 therapy days (P = .02), respectively. These inputs plus hospital cost data were used to model costs for the United States, Germany, and the United Kingdom. For the United States, Germany, and United Kingdom, respectively, economic model estimates of total potential per patient savings were $33 338, €8467, and £5626 for negative pressure wound therapy-instillation group vs control, based on assumed number of OR visits during therapy, cost of therapy system, and length of therapy. Model results showed an overall potential cost-savings with negative pressure wound therapy-instillation vs control, based on fewer OR visits and shorter therapy duration as reported in the published systematic review and meta-analysis.

Silencing of Nesprin‐2 inhibits the differentiation of myofibroblasts from fibroblasts induced by mechanical stretch


Mechanical force plays a pivotal role in the pathogenesis of hypertrophic scar (HTS). Dermal fibroblasts and myofibroblasts are the key cells involved in HTS. Myofibroblasts in HTS possess different biochemical and biophysical characteristics by which myofibroblasts are often distinguished from fibroblasts. The role of mechanotransducers outside the nucleus in the pathogenesis of HTS has been reported in many studies. However, the role of Nesprin-2 in HTS is not clear. Hence, we aim to construct a cell model of HTS and explore the role of Nesprin-2 in this process. Myofibroblasts and fibroblasts were isolated from HTS and healthy skin tissues of the same patient. Fibroblasts were exposed to cyclic stretch with 10% magnitude and a frequency of 0.1 Hz for 3 days, 5 days, and 7 days, respectively. After the cell model was confirmed, fibroblasts transfected with siRNA targeting human Nesprin-2 were exposed to cyclic stretch. The mechanical behaviour and biochemical reaction of the dermal fibroblasts were analysed. The stretched fibroblasts at day 5 showed the same mechanotransductive and biochemical features as unstretched myofibroblasts. Mechanical strain could induce the myofibroblasts differentiation and a cell model of HTS was established successfully at day 5. The expressions of lamin A/C, alpha-smooth muscle actin, transforming growth factor beta 1, and collagen type I in fibroblasts were reduced by the silencing of Nesprin-2. Mechanical strain could induce the myofibroblasts differentiation and silencing of Nesprin-2 could block the mechanical stimulation of terminal myofibroblasts differentiation. Nesprin-2 might be a potential target to treat the HTS.


International Wound Journal, Volume 18, Issue 5, Page 744-744, October 2021.

News and views

International Wound Journal, Volume 18, Issue 5, Page 563-565, October 2021.

Issue Information

International Wound Journal, Volume 18, Issue 5, Page 557-559, October 2021.

COVID conscience—A clinical dilemma for managing persons with wounds?

International Wound Journal, Volume 18, Issue 5, Page 561-562, October 2021.

Post‐burn scar malignancy: 5‐year management review and experience


The study spotlights a severe uncommon post-burn complication, Marjolin's ulcer, in upper Egypt plastic and wound care centres. This problem is mainly related to inadequate medical care and awareness. No community or race is immune. The underlying malignant transformation mechanism remains unclear. The study aims, according to our experience, to review the prognostic factors through the management protocol of Marjolin's ulcers. This prospective study was conducted in the Aswan University Plastic & Burn surgery department in South Egypt between 2013 and 2020 and investigated 226 patients with chronic post-burn ulceration. Nineteen cases were proved to have Marjolin's ulcer, and the other cases that had been excluded from being malignant went for reconstruction with split-thickness skin graft with/without flap after adequate ulcer debridement. The surgical, oncologic, radiologic indications, and prognostic factors were reviewed according to our management outcome—the assessment with follow-up period extended over 5 years. Histopathology of ulcers ranged among mild, moderate, and poorly differentiated squamous cell carcinoma. One scalp ulcer case showed basosquamous pathology. Most cases presented at age above 50, but no age was immune. The mean latent period was 29 years on average. The lesions' sites varied in their anatomic location where they involved the upper extremity, the scalp, and the lower extremity that had a predilection. Although surgical excision is the primary management line for tumour ablation, other factors may change the management course. During the follow-up period, neoplasm recurrence in the form of lymph node enlargement and/or locoregional metastasis was detected in eight cases. Within 1 year after the intervention, six recurrent cases died, and two were saved. In addition to the case study, this paper reviewed the literature and provided our team a good experience in light of the NCCN protocol for non-melanotic cutaneous carcinoma, although we suffered limited medical resources. It is concluded that early accurate diagnosis, low-grade malignancy, and well-planned individualised surgery with adjuvant radiotherapy were the best prognostic factors. The close follow-up for an early sign of disease recurrence is paramount.

Evidence‐based review of the effects of nutritional supplementation for pressure ulcer prevention


The objective of this evidence-based review was to explore whether the evidence supports the use of nutritional supplements in pressure ulcer (PU) prevention strategies. Several electronic databases, including Ovid MEDLINE (1946 to May week 32 019), Ovid EMBASE (1947 to May 28, 2019), EBSCO CINAHL (until June 13, 2019), Scopus (until July 9, 2019), and the Web of Science (until June 13, 2019) were searched. No limitation was placed on the year of publication. Studies considered for inclusion were those with adult populations, and only English language texts with available full text were reviewed. AMSTAR (a measurement tool to assess systematic reviews) was used to evaluate the quality of the studies included in the systematic review. The Oxford Centre for Evidence-Based Medicine (OCEBM) 2011 Levels of Evidence was used to assess the level of evidence. Appraisal of Guidelines for Research and Evaluation Instrument (AGREE II) was used to assess guideline article, and Appraisal tool for Cross-Sectional Studies (AXIS) was also used for cross-sectional studies. The search identified 1761 studies. After the application of inclusion and exclusion criteria, 24 studies were retained of various designs, including 10 systematic reviews, five clinical reviews, three randomised controlled trials, two observational studies, one quasi-experimental study, one cross-sectional study, one cohort study, and one Clinical Guideline. Two were rated as high-quality reviews, 14 were rated as moderate-quality reviews, five were rated as low-quality reviews, and three were rated as critically low-quality reviews. The majority of the reviewed studies were of low-to-moderate quality because of biases in the study design and incomplete data reporting, which did not fulfil the reporting criteria of the appraisal tools. However, the majority of the studies showed a reduction in PU incidence after nutritional supplement though not significant. Whether the use of pharmacological appraisal tools to assess non-pharmacological studies is appropriate is unclear. Regardless of the low-to-moderate quality of the studies in this review, nutritional supplements appear to play a role in PU prevention.

Effect of intermittent pneumatic compression with different inflation pressures on the distal microvascular responses of the foot in people with type 2 diabetes mellitus


Intermittent pneumatic compression (IPC) is commonly used to improve peripheral circulation of the lower extremity. However, its therapeutic dosage for people with type 2 diabetes mellitus (DM) at risk for ulcers is not well established. This study explored the effect of IPC with different inflation pressures on the distal microvascular responses of the foot in people with type 2 DM. Twenty-four subjects with and without DM were recruited. Three IPC protocols with inflation pressures of 60, 90, and 120 mmHg were applied to the foot. The foot skin blood flow (SBF) responses were measured by laser Doppler flowmetry during and after IPC interventions. Results show that all three IPC interventions significantly increased foot SBF of IPC stage in healthy subjects, but only 90 and 120 mmHg IPC significantly improved SBF in diabetic subjects. IPC with 90 and 120 mmHg showed a greater effect than 60 mmHg in both groups, but 120 mmHg IPC was more effective for diabetic subjects. This study demonstrates that 90 and 120 mmHg are effective dosages of IPC for improving blood flow in healthy people, and 120 mmHg IPC may be more suitable for people with type 2 DM.