The use of new antimicrobial gauze dressings: Effects on the rate of epithelialization of partial-thickness wounds

Stephen Davis, Patricia M. Mertz, Alejandro Cazzaniga, Victoria Serralta, Robert Orr, William Eaglstein

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


Gauze-type dressings have been around for well over 100 years. They are used in a wide variety of situations: 1) primary and secondary dressing in conjunction with compression therapy, 2) debridement, 3) secondary dressing for grafts, 4) abdominal incisions, 5) packing of wounds, etc. The idea of an antimicrobial gauze dressing that could prevent the entrance of pathogens to wounds is very attractive. This study reports the evaluation of a commonly used gauze dressing containing an antimicrobial agent. The gauze dressing is a woven gauze that is impregnated with 0.2% polyhexamethylene biguanide (PHMB) antimicrobial. The authors have studied the barrier properties of this gauze to prevent invasion by Pseudomonas aeruginosa organisms and have found it to be very effective. Since there has been concern in recent years that various antimicrobials can be harmful to wound healing, the authors wanted to examine the effect of this antimicrobial gauze dressing on the rate of epithelialization of acute wounds. Multiple partial-thickness wounds (10mm x 7mm x 0.3mm) were induced with an electrokeratome on six Specific Pathogen-Free (SPF) pigs. Forty wounds were assigned to one of the following three treatment groups: 1) air exposed, 2) gauze with 0.2% PHMB, and 3) gauze without antimicrobial agent. Sterile saline solution and a secondary polyurethane film dressing were applied over all dressings to maintain a moist environment. Five wounds were excised from each treatment group on days 3-9 and incubated in NaBr to allow separation of epidermis from dermis. The epidermis was then examined macroscopically and considered healed if there was no defect(s) present. Histological samples were taken on days 3 and 7 from three of the animals. The results indicate that both gauze dressings accelerate the rate of epidermal migration as compared to untreated air-exposed control wounds on days 6 and 7. In conclusion, this data suggests that neither dressing adversely affected but actually accelerated the rate of healing of partial-thickness wounds in this swine model.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)252-256
Number of pages5
Issue number7
StatePublished - Sep 1 2002

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Medical–Surgical


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