To develop a topical sildenafil hydrogel and evaluate its effect on wound healing in dogs.
6 purpose-bred, sexually intact, adult Beagles.
Hydrogels containing sildenafil citrate, N-methyl-2-pyrrolidone, propylene glycol, and poloxamer 407 were developed. Four excision wounds were created along the dorsum of the dogs. Each wound was treated for 21 days with a nonadherent bandage (C) or with a hydrogel containing 0% (G), 5% (5S), or 10% (10S) sildenafil. Daily bandage changes with wound imaging were performed. Biopsy specimens were collected 5 times.
Hydrogels were homogenous at room temperature and released > 90% of the sildenafil within 8 hours in vitro. Time to first granulation tissue was significantly shorter for the sildenafil groups (mean ± SD, 2.8 ± 0.8 days [5S and 10S]), compared with the control groups (5.2 ± 0.4 days [C] and 6.3 ± 1.4 days [G]). The G wounds had a 10% to 14% lower contraction rate, compared with the C, 5S, and 10S wounds. 5S wounds had a total wound area 0.7 ± 0.3 cm2 larger than 10S wounds. No significant differences were present when C wounds were compared with 5S and 10S wounds for total wound area, contraction, or epithelialization. Histologic acute inflammatory scores were higher for 5S and 10S wounds in the early and late stages of wound healing, with higher reparative scores on day 7. Neovascularization was higher for 10S wounds on day 7 and 14.
The topical sildenafil hydrogel promoted early granulation tissue, which may be beneficial for secondary wound closure in clinical settings.