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Effects of pico-tesla electromagnetic field treatment on wound healing in rats

C. Todd TrostelDepartment of Clinical Sciences, College of Veterinary Medicine Mississippi State University, Mississippi State, MS 39762-6100.
Present address is California Veterinary Specialists, 100 N Rancho Santa Fe Rd, Ste 133, San Marcos, CA 92069.

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Ron M. McLaughlinDepartment of Clinical Sciences, College of Veterinary Medicine Mississippi State University, Mississippi State, MS 39762-6100.

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John G. LamberthDepartment of Health, Physical Education, Recreation, and Sport, College of Education, Mississippi State University, Mississippi State, MS 39762-6100.

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Robert C. CooperDepartment of Clinical Sciences, College of Veterinary Medicine, Mississippi State University, Mississippi State, MS 39762-6100.

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Steven H. ElderDepartment of Agricultural and Biological Engineering, College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, Mississippi State University, Mississippi State, MS 39762-6100.

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Roy R. PoolDepartments of Pathobiology and Population Medicine, College of Veterinary Medicine, Mississippi State University, Mississippi State, MS 39762-6100.

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Cheng GaoDepartment of Clinical Sciences, Basic Sciences, College of Veterinary Medicine, Mississippi State University, Mississippi State, MS 39762-6100.

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Joseph A. CromiakDepartment of Health, Physical Education, Recreation, and Sport, College of Education Mississippi State University, Mississippi State, MS 39762-6100.

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Carolyn R. BoyleDepartment of Clinical Sciences, Basic Sciences, College of Veterinary Medicine, Mississippi State University, Mississippi State, MS 39762-6100.

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Abstract

Objective—To evaluate the effects of a pico-tesla electromagnetic field (PTEF) on healing of sutured and open skin wounds and clinicopathologic variables in rats.

Animals—64 male Fischer-344 rats.

Procedure—An incision made in the dorsal aspect of the neck was sutured (n = 32) or left open to heal (32). In each group, 16 rats were not PTEF-treated (controls). Wound treatment consisted of exposure to a PTEF once daily. Rats in each group were euthanatized at days 2, 4, 7, and 14. Wounds were evaluated via tensiometry (sutured wounds), digital planimetry (open wounds), laser Doppler perfusion imaging, bacteriologic culture, and histologic examination. Blood samples were collected from all rats for analysis.

Results—At day 14, sutured wounds in PTEF-treated rats were stronger (ultimate stress) and tougher (strain energy) than were sutured wounds in control rats. Open wounds in PTEF-treated rats contracted more quickly at days 2 and 4 than did those in control rats. Compared with control wounds, histologic changes (indicative of improved healing) in sutured and open wounds in PTEF-treated rats were detected as early as day 4. Laser Doppler perfusion measurements, results of CBCs, serum biochemical analyses, and bacteriologic cultures were not different between groups.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Exposure to the PTEF caused no adverse effects on clinicopathologic, histologic, or bacteriologic variables tested in this study. It appears that PTEF is a safe form of adjuvant treatment for wounds and improves strength of sutured wounds and speeds contraction of open wounds. (Am J Vet Res 2003;64:845–854)

Abstract

Objective—To evaluate the effects of a pico-tesla electromagnetic field (PTEF) on healing of sutured and open skin wounds and clinicopathologic variables in rats.

Animals—64 male Fischer-344 rats.

Procedure—An incision made in the dorsal aspect of the neck was sutured (n = 32) or left open to heal (32). In each group, 16 rats were not PTEF-treated (controls). Wound treatment consisted of exposure to a PTEF once daily. Rats in each group were euthanatized at days 2, 4, 7, and 14. Wounds were evaluated via tensiometry (sutured wounds), digital planimetry (open wounds), laser Doppler perfusion imaging, bacteriologic culture, and histologic examination. Blood samples were collected from all rats for analysis.

Results—At day 14, sutured wounds in PTEF-treated rats were stronger (ultimate stress) and tougher (strain energy) than were sutured wounds in control rats. Open wounds in PTEF-treated rats contracted more quickly at days 2 and 4 than did those in control rats. Compared with control wounds, histologic changes (indicative of improved healing) in sutured and open wounds in PTEF-treated rats were detected as early as day 4. Laser Doppler perfusion measurements, results of CBCs, serum biochemical analyses, and bacteriologic cultures were not different between groups.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Exposure to the PTEF caused no adverse effects on clinicopathologic, histologic, or bacteriologic variables tested in this study. It appears that PTEF is a safe form of adjuvant treatment for wounds and improves strength of sutured wounds and speeds contraction of open wounds. (Am J Vet Res 2003;64:845–854)