Dermabrasion - a novel concept in the surgical management of sulphur mustard injuries
Brown, Roger F. R.
Lam, D. G. K.
Bennett, N. J.
Since its first use on the battlefields of Northern France during the First World War (1914-1918), sulphur mustard has remained a significant chemical threat to military forces around the world. Progress towards an effective treatment for these injuries has been slow due to the lack of suitable animal models upon which to study the toxicology and pathology. However, porcine and human skin are similar in structure and exposures to sulphur mustard vapour have been performed on porcine models to define the development and subsequent resolution of mustard-induced skin injuries. Yucatan miniature (n = 12) and large white (n = 6) pig models were used to assess the usefulness of mechanical dermabrasion in accelerating the naturally slow rate of healing of sulphur mustard vapour-induced injuries to the skin. Burn injuries underwent debridement at 4 days postexposure and the resulting lesions were assessed at various time points up to 8 weeks post-abrasion. Rates of re-epithelialisation were accelerated in the dermabrasion (treated) vs the control (untreated) group by up to a factor of three (ANOVA: p = 0.0196, Yucatan; p = 0.165, large white pig). It was concluded that dermabrasion of sulphur mustard burns is a valuable procedure in the surgical management of these injuries. (C) 2000 Elsevier Science Ltd and ISBI. All rights reserved.