The role of topical dimethyl sulfoxide in burn wound infection: evaluation in the rat

Ann N Y Acad Sci. 1983;411:105-9. doi: 10.1111/j.1749-6632.1983.tb47291.x.


The results of this study indicated that there were no statistically significant differences between the effectiveness of 1% silver sulfadiazine in DMSO and 1% silver sulfadiazine in a hydrophilic base (Silvadene), when these formulations were used as antimicrobials applied topically to thermal burn wounds. The antimicrobial efficacy of silver sulfadiazine was not destroyed by mixing this agent with DMSO, since the recovery of Pseudomonas aeruginosa was significantly lower in all animals treated with silver sulfadiazine, whatever the formulation, when compared to animals not treated with silver sulfadiazine. Further studies with higher concentrations of silver sulfadiazine in DMSO may be useful. Although the concept of DMSO as a medicinal "carrier" is not novel, with further investigation, it may prove to be germane in the treatment of eschar-covered thermal burns.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Absorption
  • Animals
  • Burns / drug therapy*
  • Dimethyl Sulfoxide / therapeutic use*
  • Male
  • Rats
  • Rats, Inbred Strains
  • Silver Sulfadiazine / administration & dosage
  • Silver Sulfadiazine / therapeutic use
  • Wound Infection / drug therapy*


  • Silver Sulfadiazine
  • Dimethyl Sulfoxide