Effects of N-acetylcysteine and ethyl pyruvate on ischemia-reperfusion injury in experimental electrical burn model

Am J Emerg Med. 2016 Jul;34(7):1217-24. doi: 10.1016/j.ajem.2016.03.032. Epub 2016 Mar 15.


Objectives: This study was planned as a histopathologic evaluation of the effectiveness of ethyl pyruvate (EP) and N-acetylcysteine (NAC) in reducing electric burn-related organ damage in an experimental model.

Methods: Four groups of 7 female Wister rats were established. The first was a sham group, the second an electrical burn control group receiving 600 V, the third group received NAC therapy of 20 mg/kg 1 hour after 600 V electrical burn, and the fourth group received 50 mg/kg EP 1 hour after 600 V electrical burn. Heart, kidney, striated muscle, brain, and lung tissues obtained 24 hours postprocedurally were subjected to histopathologic examination, and injury scores were determined. The values determined were then subjected to statistical analysis.

Results: Electrical fire caused significant damage in heart, striated muscle, kidney, and brain tissues. A statistically significant decrease in injury scores in total striated muscle and heart tissue was observed in the 2 treatment groups administered NAC or EP compared to the control group (P= .001). Total kidney injury scores among the groups were significantly lower in the NAC and EP groups compared to the control group (P= .002 and P= .001, respectively). Brain injury examination revealed a significant decrease in injury scores with NAC and EP therapy, both antioxidant agents, in terms of neuron degeneration (P= .004 and P= .001, respectively).

Conclusions: Electrical burn was observed to cause injury in heart, striated muscle, kidney, and brain tissue. This injury was reduced by the administration of NAC and EP.

MeSH terms

  • Acetylcysteine / therapeutic use*
  • Animals
  • Burns, Electric / complications*
  • Burns, Electric / pathology
  • Disease Models, Animal
  • Female
  • Free Radical Scavengers / therapeutic use*
  • Male
  • Pyruvates / therapeutic use*
  • Rats
  • Rats, Wistar
  • Reperfusion Injury / pathology
  • Reperfusion Injury / prevention & control*


  • Free Radical Scavengers
  • Pyruvates
  • ethyl pyruvate
  • Acetylcysteine