Objective: To continue investigation regarding the efficacy of hyperbaric oxygen (HBO) therapy in improving survival of reattached auricular composite grafts.
Design: A prospective, randomized, double-blind study using 20 New Zealand albino rabbits randomized to a treatment or control group. The treatment group received 30 HBO treatments over 19 days following amputation and reattachment of composite auricular grafts. The control group received standard care. Ears were examined grossly and microscopically on postoperative day 21 to determine the percentage of graft survival.
Results: The mean percentage of graft survival for the 2 separate grafts (a larger 1.5 x 4.0-cm and a smaller 1.0 x 3.0-cm graft) in the treatment group was 26.5% and 27.9%, respectively. The mean percentage of graft survival for the larger and smaller graft in the control group was 9.7% and 14.0%, respectively. An analysis of variance test was used to evaluate this difference, which was found to be statistically significant (P =.001).
Conclusions: This study represents a continued investigation following a pilot study, which suggested some enhancement of composite graft survival with the use of HBO therapy in the rabbit ear. Both experiments have demonstrated a slight survival benefit using HBO therapy in auricular composite grafts in the rabbit model.