Vitamins A, C, and E act as antioxidants and as free radical scavengers in biological systems. Glutathione is involved in several reactions in vitamin metabolism and also plays an important role in cell membrane protection against lipid peroxidation by free radicals. We sought to use these natural defense mechanisms against oxygen free radicals formed during reperfusion of ischemic skin flaps. An acute axial random skin flap model was utilized in the rat. Vitamins or glutathione were administered by oral gastric tube or intravenously in the perioperative period, and survival of the flap was measured at 1 week. Glutathione, beta-carotene, ascorbic acid and alpha-D-tocopherol showed mean flap survival of 84% to 89%, each of which was significantly improved over saline controls (67% p<.0005). The mechanisms and biochemistry of these vitamins, and their interactions with other vitamins and with glutathione, are discussed, along with clinical implications of free radical scavenging and skin flap survival.
|Number of pages||4|
|State||Published - Oct 1987|