Oxygen: Implications for Wound Healing

Background: Oxygen is vital for healing wounds. It is intricately involved innumerous biological processes including cell proliferation, angiogenesis, andprotein synthesis, which are required for restoration of tissue function andintegrity. Adequate wound tissue oxygenation can trigger healing responsesand favorably influence the outcomes of other treatment modalities.The Problem: Chronic ischemic wounds fail to heal appropriately secondary toextreme hypoxia that leads to cellular demise. Wound tissue hypoxia is typi cally greater at the center of the wound. Accordingly, oxygen requirements ofthe regenerating tissue will vary.Basic/Clinical Science Advances: As oxygen levels decrease within the wound, cell response mechanisms (hypoxia inducible factor [HIF]) trigger the tran scription of genes that promote cell survival and angiogenesis. HIF stabilizers are currently being tested to determine wound healing potential. Clinically, topical oxygen therapy (TOT) has been proved as an effective therapeutic modality for chronic wounds. TOT is reputed to have several advantages over hyperbaric oxygen therapy. Namely, TOT has a lower risk of oxygen toxicity, it is less expensive and is relatively easy to apply to target areas.Clinical Care Relevance: Wound tissue oxygen is necessary for appropriatewound healing; however, the relative complexity of the healing process re quires a multifaceted approach for successful healing outcomes. A key com ponent of this multifaceted approach should be specific oxygen dosing as a function of tissue hypoxia.Conclusion: New treatment approaches that exploit cell hypoxia sensing andresponse mechanisms and that enable the precise application of oxygentherapy to hypoxic areas of regenerating tissue are very promising

Categories: Medical clinic, Wounds