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Plastic Surgery International
Volume 2014 (2014), Article ID 495967, 7 pages
Research Article

Effect of Extracorporeal Shock Wave Treatment on Deep Partial-Thickness Burn Injury in Rats: A Pilot Study

1Department of Plastic, Reconstructive and Aesthetic Surgery, Innsbruck Medical University, Anichstraße 35, 6020 Innsbruck, Austria
2Department of Traumatology and Sports Medicine, Innsbruck Medical University, Anichstraße 35, 6020 Innsbruck, Austria

Received 29 May 2014; Accepted 15 October 2014; Published 6 November 2014

Academic Editor: Marcus Lehnhardt

Copyright © 2014 Gabriel Djedovic et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Extracorporeal shock wave therapy (ESWT) enhances tissue vascularization and neoangiogenesis. Recent animal studies showed improved soft tissue regeneration using ESWT. In most cases, deep partial-thickness burns require skin grafting; the outcome is often unsatisfactory in function and aesthetic appearance. The aim of this study was to demonstrate the effect of ESWT on skin regeneration after deep partial-thickness burns. Under general anesthesia, two standardized deep partial-thickness burns were induced on the back of 30 male Wistar rats. Immediately after the burn, ESWT was given to rats of group 1 (), but not to group 2 (). On days 5, 10, and 15, five rats of each group were analyzed. Reepithelialization rate was defined, perfusion units were measured, and histological analysis was performed. Digital photography was used for visual documentation. A wound score system was used. ESWT enhanced the percentage of wound closure in group 1 as compared to group 2 (). The reepithelialization rate was improved significantly on day 15 (). The wound score showed a significant increase in the ESWT group. ESWT improves skin regeneration of deep partial-thickness burns in rats. It may be a suitable and cost effective treatment alternative in this type of burn wounds in the future.