Activated chlorine dioxide solution can be used as a biocompatible antiseptic wound irrigant

Adv Skin Wound Care. 2014 Jan;27(1):13-9. doi: 10.1097/01.ASW.0000439060.79822.b3.


Objective: The purpose of this study was to compare cosmesis at 3 to 4 months and infection in simple lacerations irrigated with normal saline (NS) versus activated chlorine dioxide (CD).

Design: This was a prospective, randomized trial of a convenience sample of patients. This study was approved by the institutional review board and Food and Drug Administration as a physician-sponsored trial (FDA investigational new drug no. 68762).

Setting: The study was conducted in a large urban, academic emergency department.

Patients: Patients aged 18 to 100 with simple, uncomplicated lacerations requiring repair that were less than 8 hours old were enrolled.

Interventions: Patients were randomized to receive either NS or CD wound irrigation.

Main outcome measures: Demographics, infection, and cosmesis were analyzed and assessed. Cosmetic outcome was assessed at 3 to 4 months using a visual analog scale (VAS), wound evaluation score (WES), patient VAS (VASPt), and digital imaging VAS by 2 plastic surgeons (VASPlast).

Main results: One hundred ninety-three patients were enrolled. Data analysis was available for 175 cases (86 NS and 89 CD). Wound infection follow-up was obtained in 74.9% of the patients. The 3- to 4-month cosmesis follow-up was 37.7% for VAS/WES, 40.0% for VASPt, and 37.7% for VASPlast. There were no significant differences in demographics, key wound characteristics, infection, adverse reactions, and cosmesis.

Conclusion: The authors report the use of a novel antimicrobial irrigation solution. Chlorine dioxide appears to be a safe biologically acceptable antiseptic wound irrigant that does not appear to interfere with cosmetic outcomes.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Academic Medical Centers
  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Anti-Infective Agents, Local / therapeutic use*
  • Biocompatible Materials
  • Chi-Square Distribution
  • Chlorine Compounds / therapeutic use*
  • Emergency Service, Hospital
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Injury Severity Score
  • Lacerations / diagnosis
  • Lacerations / therapy*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Oxides / therapeutic use*
  • Pilot Projects
  • Prospective Studies
  • Reference Values
  • Rhode Island
  • Risk Assessment
  • Sodium Chloride / therapeutic use
  • Therapeutic Irrigation / methods
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Urban Population
  • Wound Healing / physiology
  • Wound Infection / prevention & control*
  • Young Adult


  • Anti-Infective Agents, Local
  • Biocompatible Materials
  • Chlorine Compounds
  • Oxides
  • Sodium Chloride
  • chlorine dioxide