Vascular Casts Demonstrate Microcirculatory Insufficiency in Acute Frostbite,
ARMY RESEARCH INST OF ENVIRONMENTAL MEDICINE NATICK MA
Pagination or Media Count:
The use of vascular microcorrosion casts has made it possible to demonstrate the degree of damage to the microcirculation in experimentally induced frostbite. This approach provides a direct method for demonstrating vascular patency. Four groups of animals were used in this investigation. The left hind limbs of anesthetized rats were cooled to -10 C in groups one and three and -20 C in groups two and four, as measured by needle thermocouples placed under the gastrocnemius muscles. Thermocouples were also placed in the left hind footpads of groups three and four. The sheathed limbs were cooled in an alcohol bath at approximately 1.1 C per minute. All cooled limbs were rewarmed to 37 C in a 40 C water bath. The right hind limbs served as uninjured controls. The footpad temperature recorded in groups three and four were used to characterize the footpad temperatures in groups one and two. Vascular microcorrosion casts were made from the left and right hind paws of groups one and two using Batsons modified methyl methacrylate. Scanning electron microscopic examination of the casts demonstrated dramatic differences between the vascular integrity of control paws and that of cooled paws. Exposure to the cold temperatures destroyed most of the microcirculation.
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