OBJECTIVE: To review the evidence regarding the influence of oxygen as an intrinsic factor on cutaneous wound healing.
METHOD: A literature search was performed using Ovid and the Cochrane Database with the search terms: 'Wound healing', 'Oxygen', 'Collagen', 'Angiogenesis', 'Inflammation' and 'Surgical Site Infection'. Human and animal studies were included if relevant and examined for methodological quality.
RESULTS: There are no meta-analyses of the use of oxygen in wound healing and only two randomised controlled trials (RCTs). Studies vary in methodological quality. The majority of the data comes from animal models. In total 1568 studies on wound healing and oxygen were found.
CONCLUSION: Oxygen is vital throughout wound healing, especially in the inflammatory and proliferative phases. Research suggests that patient supplementation with oxygen could enhance bacterial killing and angiogenesis, reduce surgical site infection rates and increase wound tensile strength, facilitating improved healing.
CONFLICT OF INTEREST: None.
- Neovascularization, Physiologic/physiology
- Oxygen Consumption/physiology
- Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor A/metabolism
- Wound Healing/physiology